Summer is the time for the students to relax and have fun but it is also time for some students to work on their project. For my daughter, she is to interview a farmer about “the change in farming system” for her geography project. Ever since her exams are over, she has been frantically looking for a farmer to interview for her project but we can hardly see any farms nearby. The nearest farm is more 20 kms away and I have promised her a trip to a neighbouring farm for her group after the LG election.
My daughter and her group are eagerly waiting for the LG election to be over so that they can visit a farm and complete their project but at the same time pestering me about their bad luck for being in the town school where they cannot see the real farms everyday like students in the rural school. Their talks make me wonder, where our farms have disappeared within a short span of time.
As a student, in the 80’s and 90’s, I remember visiting the farms to help farmers during the paddy cultivation and harvesting seasons. We would eagerly wait for the captains and the teachers to group us during the weekends so that we could visit the farms and help the farmers. It was more of an outing than a work because the farmers used to share us their meal for the little help we rendered and most of the time, we were a hindrance rather than help but they always invited us every season and we learned a few lessons as the year progressed. I always had some incidence to share with my parents and siblings on what we did and my father would ask “would you prefer to work on the farms when you grow up?” I would always say; “No way! I would rather work in the office like you than toil on the farm”.
Now more about two decades later, the mad rush for the urbanization had led to the disappearance of many farms and forests around the vicinity of the town. There are hardly any farms nearby. The lessons that the students have to learn on the practical observation are taught through conceptual strategies due to the unavailability of resources which confuses the students further which makes me further wonder whether what we are doing is right or not…