Niger: School vegetable gardens as a branch of learning
04-04-2018 | di COOPI

Niger: School vegetable gardens as a branch of learning

Within the framework of the project devoted to Education in Emergency financed by AICS (the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development) in the Diffa Region in Niger, head of project Floriana Bucca met the principal of Cherif Bello school (N'Guigmi- Diffa), who explained the benefits of realizing school vegetable gardens within teaching/learning activities (see previous article).

First of all, we want to thank the NGO COOPI as it continues to support us in our activities aimed at improving the quality of education in the schools for which we are responsible. Owing to the AICS project, training sessions were organized for teachers on various topics with the aim to improve our know-how in the teaching-learning activities we carry out every day in class with our students. Besides, this project also provided our school with a vegetable garden.

He adds:

Gardening falls within the practical and productive activities (PPA) introduced in the education system in Niger as of several years now. Currently, though, these activities are being neglected by most of the school institutes, also due to the crisis that the Diffa Region is undergoing.However, these activities are indispensible because they enable teachers to introduce new concepts and develop practical skills among students. COOPI’s project enabled us to restart and support this wonderful activity. Teachers use the vegetable garden to combine the theory studied in class with practical demonstrations and observations. This broadens the children’s lexicon and develops their reading skills. Gardening is like a living Geometry book: our children learn to distinguish the various geometrical figures and calculate areas and perimeters.

Floriana Bucca concludes:

It’s wonderful to see them «play» in the garden, spend their time outside cheerfully while watering and taking care of plants. They asked me “Would you like to see our garden? We’ve been good at it!” True, they have been very good. Now the garden is full of lettuce and tomato plants. The education promoted by COOPI is also based on this, young boys and smiling girls that feel that the school is theirs, helping them cultivate their future.