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Major Aims of School Garden Programmes

A review of school garden programmes over the past thirty years shows that the functions of school gardens can be classified as “educational” and “economic/food security”.

Educational aims

increasing the relevance and quality of education for rural and urban children by introducing into the curricula important life skills

teaching students how to establish and maintain home gardens and encourage the production and consumption of micronutrient-rich fruits and green leafy vegetables

providing active learning by linking gardens with other subjects, such as mathematics, biology, reading and writing

contributing to increasing access to education by attracting children and their families to a school that addresses topics relevant to their lives

improving children's attitudes towards agriculture and rural life

teaching environmental issues, including how to grow safe food without using pesticides

teaching practical nutrition education in order to promote healthy diets and lifestyles

providing students with a tool for survival at times of food shortages

Economic and food security aims

familiarizing school children with methods of sustainable production of food that are applicable to their homestead or farms and important for household food security

promoting income-generation opportunities

improving food availability and diversity

enhancing the nutritional quality of school meals

reducing the incidence of malnourished children attending school

increasing school attendance and compensating for the loss in transfer of “life skills” from parents to children due to the impact of HIV/AIDS and the increasing phenomenon of child-headed households

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