Secondary school No. 1 of Nor Geghi community of Kotayk Marz is one of the 44 schools of the republic, which are included in the program for development of innovative agricultural capacities, including the creation of intensive gardens, implemented with the support of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). And although the community has always been known for its traditional gardens, a considerable area of the school was dedicated to the creation of an intensive garden where students can be involved in agricultural activities and learn about modern green technologies.
The work on the creation of an intensive garden began within the framework of the "Establishment of intensive fruit and berry gardens in areas near schools" implemented by the NGO "Green Lane" with the support of the UN World Food Program.
"You should have seen how interested the students were in studying the agricultural equipment provided to the school and the latest technologies: laying drip system pipelines, anti-hail nets and installing tanks for rainwater, after which they started planting apple, cherry, and plum seedlings. The results of the harvest in the first year were satisfactory and caused great enthusiasm among the students. They became skilled in agricultural work and were happy to receive ecologically clean food developed by their own efforts," says the principal of the school.
According to her, the intensive garden near the school unites students, teachers and community residents, it has become a treasure trove for the application of modern technologies in green agriculture and horticulture for all.
"An important thing is the installation of a solar station within the framework of the project, which contributes to a significant reduction of electricity consumption. As a result, we increased the number of saplings using the saved means. Rainwater collected in tanks installed on the school grounds completely replaces irrigation water, which is also a problem for the community. Among the knowledge acquired by the students about soil cultivation, fertilizing the soil with Californian worms instead of traditional pesticides is a novelty and it is a novelty for the population of the community as well," says Noyemi Babakhanyan.
There are uncultivated areas in the land near the school, intended for cultivation of vegetable crops / cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli. For this, the school has the necessary multifunctional agricultural equipment: a lawnmower, small tractors, agricultural sprayers, outerwear, as well as appropriate methodological manuals.
Noyemi Babakhanyan emphasizes the importance of involving students in modern agriculture in terms of their value system formation, choice of a future profession, creation of workplaces in the village and its development and prosperity. And it is not surprising that some of the graduates of the school receive secondary vocational education at the Nor Geghi State Agricultural College named after Academician G. Aghajanyan, and then continue their studies at the National Agrarian University of Armenia.
According to the principal, thanks to the diligence of the students and teaching staff, they will be able to expand the area of intensive gardens in the near future.