Promoting Multimodal Approach in FFS Implementation Amidst COVID-19: Farm Schools Receive ICT Equipment

TABUK CITY, KALINGA. In support to the continuous implementation of the modified season-long Farmers Field School (FFS) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Extension Component, the Agricultural Training Institute-Cordillera Administrative Region (ATI-CAR) awarded Information Communication Technology (ICTs) tools to five farm schools in Kalinga accredited as training providers of the Program.

ICTs granted include laptops, LCD projectors, portable speakers, and printers. The Bacayan’s Farm, Kub-ao’s Farm, Shavcer’s Farm, Green Valley Farm, and Clemencia’s Farm received each of the items at the TAMPCO Inn and Training Center, Tabuk City, Kalinga on September 23, 2020. Moreover, manual seeder and grain moisture meter were given to Bacayan’s Farm and Green Valley Farm which will be shared among the recipients particularly for hands-on activities and demonstrations.

The provision of ICT tools was one of the needs earlier identified by the farm schools during a field monitoring conducted on February 3-7, 2020. The need for ICT support was then addressed through the RCEF-Enhancement of Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSAs). Moreover, with the various COVI-19 restrictions on mass gathering, this ICT equipment will help further facilitate lecture-discussions using a multimodal approach. The multi-modal approach in the implementation of the modified FFS is one of the coping mechanisms adopted in response to the COVI-19 restrictions on mass gathering. In response the farm schools assured proper handling of the equipment to further enhance the learning sessions for the farmers.

Johnny Carillo, owner of the Green Valley Farm, remarked “it’s difficult to teach and convene farmers and it is even harder to change their attitudes. Thank you for giving us these tools which will aid us in convincing our farmers. Expect improved teaching sessions from us with the use of these gadgets.”
FFS Resumes

Meanwhile, for the 2020 second cropping season, 16 batches or 375 enrollees are already undergoing the FFS in Kalinga. Shavcer’s Farm, Clemencia’s Farm, Green Valley Farm and D. B. M. Agricultural Farm accommodated two batches each with 25 trainees per batch. On the other hand, Kub-ao’s Farm has 80 enrollees divided into four batches, two batches are composed of 30 trainees while the other two consist of 50 participants. Bacayan’s Farm has a total of 95 enrollees similarly divided into four batches. Out of the four batches, two batches with 45 slots covered barangays Masablang and Nasgueban while the other two batches with 50 slots accommodated participants from barangays Laya and Ipil.

The 30 and 45 slots at the Kub-ao’s Farm and Bacayan’s Farm, respectively, were spill-over of the 2019 budget which TESDA reprogrammed into FFS scholarships. Out of this, another 80 slots were made available which were given to the TESDA Provincial Training Center-Kalinga for implementation. For this year, 50 additional slots for each of the farm schools have already been requested and endorsed to TESDA Central Office. (DAEsteban)