School on Air graduation in Camarines Norte held

School on Air graduation in Camarines Norte held

DAET, Camarines Norte -- ATI-Bicol worked closely with local government units (LGUs) in Camarines Norte in conducting the School on Air (SOA) on the PalayCheck Rice Production Technology. Dubbed as ATIng Kaugnay SOA, it spanned six municipalities and one cropping season.

After five months of weekly radio broadcasts, the SOA concluded with a graduation ceremony held March 31, 2011 at the Little Theater, Provincial Capitol Building, Daet, Camarines Norte.

Enrollees who passed the weekly quizzes since November 2010 and the final examination all came together for their graduation to receive their well-earned certificates of completion. They were from the municipalities of Basud, Daet, Talisay, Vinzons, Labo, and Paracale.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) as well as the LGUs of these municipalities co-managed the activity in their respective areas. The SOA was aired at 10 to 11 every Friday mornings through three commercial radio stations, the DZMD AM 1161 Khz and Radyo ng Bayan in Daet, as well as DWLB 89.7 FM in Labo.

The SOA emphasized the importance of increasing farmers' yield and income, bringing to listeners the latest package of technology on the PalayCheck system of rice production. It discussed simple step-by-step application of the technology through per-module presentation of topics to help farmers realize its income potential.

The weekly lecture-discussions were anchored by Cirlo Nuyles, Chief of ATI-Bicol's Technical Support, and Engr. Joey Belarmino. The SOA was fully interactive, being open to phone-in questions and text messages from the listeners.

Before the SOA enrollees' final examination, a mobile forum across the six municipalities furthered the farmer-enrollees' participation, allowing them to voice their questions. Likewise, resource speakers discussed finer details of their topics using visual aids. The forum bridged the gap in technology transfer through face-to-face interaction.

The SOA culminated with the awarding of prizes as well as certificates to graduates and the Subject Matter Specialists (SMS) from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the LGUs who served as resource persons.

Topics included the PalayCheck key checks, integrated pest management, and integrated nutrient management.

Mass media plays a key role in knowledge sharing. Particularly, radio proves to be an effective and fast means of spreading information to a wide scope of audience in the countryside.

The Department of Agriculture recognizes SOA's importance as an e-Extension component. (with Joey Belarmino)