Getashen secondary school students are taught how to farm efficiently" />

Agro-knowledge in ordinary school

Getashen secondary school students are taught how to farm efficiently

The secondary school of Getashen village, Armavir district, is absolutely different from other local educational institutions. The external differences start as soon as one enters the yard and finish in the basement. The school is surrounded by orchards; there are huge clay jars, ancient traditional Armenian clay pots and butter churns everywhere.

The aim of the aforesaid is not just to decorate the school, but rather to link the school students with their native land using a rural school model, which has been also elaborated here. Not only do the students get knowledge that they should obtain at an ordinary secondary school, but they also attend agro-school classes.

Gevorg Mukoyan, the school director, is actively engaged in the academic process, teaching children how to cultivate land and put one’s heart into it. He says: ‘Give me a tree with weak roots, I’ll plant it with love and you will see it burst into leafs.’

His major is agronomy. He started landscaping 2 hectares of the school area and cultivating gourds three years ago. The trees were planted first. Gevorg Mukoyan decided to plant exclusively the apricot trees. ‘We have approached this issue in terms of Armenian traditions and decided to grow our Armenian fruit’.

There are 300 students at school and the apricot trees in the same number were planted in its area. Before they grow, the land is used for cultivating gourds. The vegetables cultivated here are preserved and used in the school canteen.

Wholesome food in the canteen is always cooked using fresh ingredients. At this stage, meals at school are served to the primary school students (1st – 3rd grade students), as well as to the children from underprivileged families. In future, as the volume of carrot, cabbage, beet, potatoes, beans and peas, farmed by the teachers and students, will increase, the canteen will serve meals to everyone.

There are no age limits for those, willing to attend classes on different fields of agriculture and one will find something to do according to one’s capacities. Students and teachers are all engaged in the entire process – be it sorting of seeds or harvesting.

Alvard Sargsyan, 11th grade student, who participated in the process, starting from bedding to soil loosening, says that apart from the fact that it is interesting, they are taught proper farming, that will help them organize their farms and live in the rural area in future.

Susanna Hovakimyan, the history teacher, believes that the most important thing is to make students love the land and, in this case, they will not leave the village.

A greenhouse has been already built on the sponsors’ funds, allocated to the agro-school. A barn is also being built and the school basement has been prepared for growing mushrooms there. Cattle breeding will be also included in the agro-school’s curriculum, while fresh meat and dairy products will be added to the students’ menu. Poultry program will be also developed in the near future, since it’s equally important to have fresh eggs in the canteen.

The school’s principle is to avoid using chemical fertilizers and get organic fruit and vegetables. Thus, students learn to live according to this principle and will abide it in case, they decide to become agronomists.

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