DEPED SET TO CREATE RURAL FARM SCHOOL IN ALL PRONVICES
Elementary school completers interested in studying agriculture will find more public and private schools they can enroll in now. The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10618 known as the Rural Farm Schools Act have been approved.
The Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro signed the said IRR on July 29, 2015. DepEd Assistant Secretary Toni-sito Umali said that the finalization of the IRR is the last step in the implementation of the law, which will pave the way for more farm schools in the Philippines.
Umali added that through this alternative delivery mode of secondary education, more learners will be able to study agriculture hands on since classes will be held in farming and fishing communities.
“New teachers will be hired to handle subjects related to farming and fishing,” Umali said.
With the full implementation of the law, there will be at least one (1) rural farm school in each of the 81 provinces of the Philippines within one year after the approval of the IRR.
RA 10618 institutionalizes farm schools as a parallel learning system and alternative delivery mode of secondary education under the supervision of DepEd.
Authored by AAMBIS-Owa Representative Sharon Garin, RA 10618 was approved in the 16th Congress and signed into law by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on September 3, 2013.
The tuition and other school fees for public farm schools shall be free; while, only minimal tuition and other fees for private farm schools shall be imposed.
Dr. Jose Gayo, President of The Philippine Federation of Family Farm/Rural Schools (PHILFEFFARS) said that although the Philippines is an agricultural country, there are only 16 farm schools nationwide and all of them, but one, are privately run.
The 11 rural farm schools which are members of PHILFEFFARS can be found in the province of Aurora, Rizal, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Lanao Del Norte, Leyte, Iloilo, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Camarines Sur and the City of Tacloban.
“If this country has any hope for achieving food security and giving people jobs in the agricultural sector, the government must start creating state-run schools for farming now. The future of Philippine agriculture is in our youth,” Rep. Garin, who hails from the farming town of Guimbal, Iloilo, said.
Private organizations who want to support rural farm schools through any donation, contribution or grant shall be exempted from paying donor’s tax and the same shall be considered an allowable deduction from the gross income in the computation of the donor’s income tax. /MP