Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville and Rwanda agricultural development projects
With the assistance of NIFA, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service is leading school garden projects in the Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The gardens are intended to:
- produce food for a school feeding program;
- provide a laboratory to supplement the standard school curriculum;
- and, contribute to the intellectual, psychological, and physical development of the students.
In the Congo, land-grant university experts, recruited by NIFA, developed a teacher training manual, a pocket guide, teacher lesson plans, and teaching aids, such as posters and demonstration kits that supplement classroom instruction of the teachers. The manual explains how to develop a school garden and how to incorporate the garden into the classroom as a teaching aide for science and other subjects.
The school garden team trained 80 teachers and 20 Pygmy representatives from 31 schools during the first round of training in December of 2005. Participants hope that the gardening information will have benefits beyond the schools, and be used by adults in the respective communities.
Teacher training materials are currently being developed for the Rwandan project. When they are complete, a pilot teacher training program will be conducted.
The main difference between the two projects is that the project in Rwanda is focused on developing materials for the secondary school or middle school level, while in the Congo, the focus is on the primary school level.
The projects are being funded by U.S. Agency for International Development.
For more information contact Patty Fulton.
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