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Indigenous Peoples

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mariyah
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DepEd adopts IP education agenda
January 18, 2012, 3:12pm
PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines – A national policy framework (NPF) has been adopted by the Department of Education (DepEd) recently to answer the basic education needs of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who live in mountain villages and sitios of Mindanao, and other areas of the country.
Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro said the NPF for IPs is in line with the country’s commitment to achieve its Education for All (EFA) targets, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are in pursuant to the DepEd Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA).
Luistro explained through DepEd Order No. 62, Series of 2011, which was received here lately by DepEd Region 9 Director Walter O. Albos, that the NPF was preceded by a consultative and participatory process held in designated venues of Southern Philippines.
Albos said the consultations were followed by a national validation workshop where participants affirmed the principles of the draft framework and later recommended the formulation and implementation of an IP basic education program.
The events were attended by qualified representatives from various IP communities in the country, together with concerned government agencies, and civil service society partners to ensure that IP groups can claim ownership of this framework, Albos quoted Luistro’s directive.
The DepEd chief, Albos said, described the NPF as “an instrument for promoting shared accountability and partnership among education stakeholders, even as it subscribes to the rights-based approach that gives primary importance to the principles of participation, inclusion, and empowerment.”
Albos also quoted Luistro as explaining that the National Indigenous Peoples Education Policy Framework (NIPEPF), subscribes, among other things, to the following: That, IPs remain to be among the most vulnerable and marginalized members of the citizenry who continue to lack access to decent basic social services, have limited opportunities to engage the mainstream economy, and suffer social, economic and political exclusion.
That, among the current disadvantages that IPs face, access to culture-responsive basic education stands out as one of the most critical to address it being an essential means for the IPs to claim their rights, exercise self-determination, and expand the choices available to them.
That, elementary and secondary schools accessible to IPs have limited or no capacity to provide culturally appropriate education that is responsive to their context, respects their identities and promotes the value of their traditional knowledge, skills, and other aspects of their cultural heritage.
This is the kind of education that removes barriers to their meaningful participation in the various levels and spheres of society, and empowers them to exercise their rights and duties as Filipino citizens.
That, there are existing models and best practices on IP education based on successful projects and interventions by DepEd, non-government organizations (NGOs), IP organizations (IPOs) and other community-based initiatives, which need to be consolidated to formulate a systematic and coherent IP Education Program.
As this developed, the hiring and deployment of qualified teachers in remote communities of Mindanao and other parts of the country that are inhabited by IPs have been pledged by DepEd starting School Year 2012-2013, pursuant to the agency’s recently adopted national IP education policy framework.
This was announced recently Luistro who also called for the continuous development of teachers and learning facilities in the implementation of the DepEd’s IP Education Program.
Luistro stressed in DepEd Order No. 6, Series of 2011, that the agency will also review, harmonize, and align its teacher education and development policies to support affirmative action to respond to the learning needs of IP school-age children.
These policies, Luistro said, are consistent with Republic Act 8190 or the “Localization Law” that requires DepEd field appointing officials to assign teachers in schools located in their own community.
Luistro stressed that the DepEd will also pursue a support incentive for teachers assigned in isolated and hard-to-reach IP villages, even as he also encouraged members of IP communities who may wish to enter the teaching profession to help them complete the necessary academic preparation and satisfy professional licensure requirements.
Albos noted that Luistro’s order further sought to adopt appropriate basic education pedagogy, content and assessment through the integration of indigenous knowledge systems and practices (IKSP) in all subject areas.
The DepEd chief, Albos said, also enjoined the further development and enforcement of: Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE); culture-responsive education for sustainable development; and, alternative modes of instructional delivery and assessment schemes to address the peculiar needs of IP learners.

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