Wednesday, June 19

Searca to open agri, robotics centers

BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna (April 5)—The Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has presented to the Department of Education (DepEd) two new learning facilities for agricultural innovation.

Searca Director Glenn Gregorio during his visit to the DepEd recently apprised Secretary Leonor Briones of the soon-to-open Searca Hub for agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation (Sharing), an interactive museum, and the Searca iCreate which will provide makerspaces and a training facility for robotics, prototyping and design thinking.

“At Searca, we are one with DepEd in enriching the learning competencies of our Filipino youth,” Gregorio said, adding that the two facilities are avenues for Searca to promote farming innovation to learners in the post-pandemic normal.

Gregorio added that through these platforms, “they can get their hands and minds in action and go crazy with their innovative ideas, especially in smarter agriculture.”

“Sharing is designed not only as an agri-museum but also as a learning center fitted with multimedia installations for interactive ideation sessions toward next-generation agriculture in Southeast Asia,” he added.

On the other hand, Gregorio explained that the Searca iCreate is an open-shared complex that offers spaces for exhibitions, hackathons, business pitching and hands-on learning through Lego robot kits, robot arms and Minecraft game-based education platforms.

He said both Sharing and iCreate learning facilities are annexed to the Searca headquarters located on the campus of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna.

Meanwhile, Briones commended Searca for its efforts to promote agriculture to young people and for supporting the DepEd’s mandate.

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“I applaud Searca for always making agriculture sexy. Thank you for your untiring dedication and support to DepEd,” she said.