Mackenzie High gets CARDI’s support to develop aquaponics and hydroponics prgrammes

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CARDI Representative (Guyana), Dr Cyril Roberts

Given its record-breaking success at this year’s CSEC examinations in Agricultural Science, the Mackenzie High School in Linden is set to benefit from support from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). The institution, having recognised the school’s strides in Agricultural Science, has committed to the school’s aquaponics and hydroponics agricultural cultivation programmes, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has reported.

CARDI’s Guyana representative, Dr. Cyril Roberts was quoted by DPI as saying: “We will work with the school in developing the programme and we hope when we meet with the teachers, we will be able to fine-tune our efforts of collaboration for the students in preparing their SBA’s for CSEC that they can actually benefit from the collaboration between the two institutions.”

Head Teacher of MHS, Haslyn Small said that the school welcomes the programme as it will be of great benefit to the upcoming students as they complete SBA’s since they will no longer have to venture off to other locations to complete same. He also said that the programme will allow all the Agriculture students to see first-hand that there are soilless alternatives to cultivation and how beneficial such techniques can be.

Relative to the record-breaking performance, Small said that he is extremely humbled and though he would have served as the Agricultural Science teacher for CSEC, he attributes the success to all the teachers who would have worked with the students since Agricultural Science has other subject areas such as Integrated Science, Accounts, Chemistry and Mathematics. His hope is that this would serve as an influence to the upcoming batch to raise the bar even higher.

Last Thursday, CARDI honoured top Agricultural Science student, Gabrielle Williams, who also placed third in the Caribbean. Williams attained a Distinction in Agriculture Science and excelled in Mathematics, English and three other Science related subjects. Four other students; Chelsea Tappin, Sheniah Layne, Tevin Hercules and Unique Bremner were also honoured for their outstanding grades at Agriculture Science.

Accordign to DPI, CARDI will also treat the students and their teachers to a tour of the Pomeroon River where there is a coconut farm and coconut water factory.  This year, five students of the Mackenzie High School copped places on the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC’s) CSEC’s Caribbean merit list for Agricultural Science.

The announcements were made by CARDI’s Guyana representative Dr. Cyril Roberts, during a CARDI day exercise, in Linden last Thursday.

Roberts, in congratulating the students and their teachers for their success, noted that the upcoming programme will assist the future batch of students particularly with the practical aspect of their School-Based Assessments (SBA).

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish. This will be done in a shade house.

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