Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 05, 2019 (SKNIS): The highly successful Tourism Education Programme will be adding, in September 2019, a Garden Project to its programme, which will give students in-depth knowledge and hands on experience on the linkages between tourism and agriculture, better known as Agro-tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism saw the need to show students these linkages after the recent acquisition of the St. Kitts Eco-Park, says Tourism Research/Education Officer, Therez Ambrose-Versailles.
Mrs. Ambrose-Versailles said that the ministry enlisted the help of the Department of Agriculture, which has played an integral role in implementing the pilot programme at the Basseterre High School (BHS) where a small area has been designated to grow a vegetable garden.
“We had an idea of how we thought it could have been rolled out,” she said. “So we got the experts in on it and we started to discuss how we could expand upon it. The Department of Agriculture said that it would be best, starting from September, we do a more holistic approach to the Garden Project. In this way, the students can see the linkages…
…They would learn about what to do after they have their produce. That is when marketing comes into play. We can present from a tourism point of view and they can present an agricultural point of view and we link them so that students can see how agriculture can become a business and how it can correlate with tourism as it is our main economic diver.”
Three vegetables have been selected for the students to grow including lettuce, string beans and cucumbers.
With a show of hands, students volunteered to be a part of the trial programme. Mrs. Ambrose-Versailles said that so far the students are enthusiastic about the project.
“From what I have observed, they have enjoyed the out-of-class experience. We have had several occasions where students would accompany Mr. Stuart Versailles to the Department of Agriculture to get the compost. Whatever they learned there, they would come back and tell their classmates what they have gathered from their experience. At one point we had to tell them to go on break, but they refused to leave. So it has been quite an experience,” said Mrs. Ambrose-Versailles.
The Research/Education Officer stated that she was happy with the response.
“I think this will be a success especially with the full roll out of the programme in September,” she said.
Mrs. Ambrose-Versailles stated that the ministry is thankful to the parents for encouraging their children to attend the classes. The ministry is also grateful for the patience of the teachers for allowing the project to be done on their time. She thanked stakeholders, such as the Department of Agriculture for its assistance in getting the projects off the ground.