CBC: Nurturing young minds on agri-business

Pupils of Paramount Education Centre (PEC) harvesting some of the mature and ready cowpeas from the school garden in Mombasa County. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The excitement of Grade Six pupils at Paramount Education Center is evident. This is visible from their faces as they harvest the vegetables and legumes from their school farm.

The young minds have taken an interest. They are intrigued by the whole germination, nurturing and harvesting process to the entrepreneurship bit of farming.

According to John Kombo, the school’s director, the children have had two harvesting seasons where they sold the legumes and vegetables to their parents.

“Each learner takes an active role to nurture the crops. They have had two harvests and sold the produce to the parents and the public. They have seen that agriculture pays and are enthusiastic about it.” said Mr Kombo.

Twelve-year-old Meisa Ibrahim who is in Grade Six said that it has been fun planting different vegetables. This also includes tending to them and eventually harvesting them.

Ibrahim said that with the help of his parents, he has been able to plant vegetables and cow peas at their home garden. Ibrahim, who will be among the first students to sit the CBC assessment exams, said he is well prepared for them.

“I have had a lot of fun learning about farming and its benefits. I have been able to use the knowledge gained in school to help my family plant and nurture the plants in the garden. I am well prepared for the final exams,” said Ibrahim.

Kombo, an agriculture enthusiast, said that pupils have seen and understood the role that agriculture plays. This has been possible from feeding families and it being taught as a subject in school.

“I love Agriculture as a hobby and passion. As a school, we plant trees, cassava, bananas, groundnuts, legumes and vegetables as well as other traditional vegetables,” said Kombo.

He said the institution is keen on making CBC a success as set by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) as well as Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).

“We are busy teaching and preparing our classes so that by the end of next term, they will be able to move to the next level,” said Kombo. 

“You don’t have to have a big farm to plant vegetables for use at home. Our children have gained the skills and can improvise using plastics to plant the crops.”

He said that the pupils in Grade Six which is the pioneer class are required to make sure they come up with two projects that involve crop and animal farming.

According to Emmanuel Musini, a Grade Six pupil, he has learnt more about soil erosion, water conservation and animal domestication.

The 12-year-old said that he has been able to help his family with farming. They have planted beans and cabbages in their farm and says he is well prepared for the exams.

“I have developed passion  for agriculture having learnt many lessons on soil erosion, water conservation and animal domestication. I now understand that Agriculture is important in our lives. I have been able to use the small space at home to plant vegetables and fruits,” said Musini.

Kombo said that the pupils are expected to plant legumes like cow-peas, green-grams and groundnuts as part of their final projects in junior primary.

He said the teachers at the school have been busy teaching and preparing the pupils for next term when they are expected to sit the CBC exams.

“Out of these projects, the school is able to prepare the children on agricultural activities. They will be expected to have gone through serious learning and have projects that will reflect on what is in the curriculum design,” said Kombo.

He said that the school has a competent team of teachers.

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