By MA. ADOREN TORIO
BAGUIO CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Cordillera Administrative Region (ACT-CAR) conducted a Teachers Consultation on Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) on April 23 during the 34th Peoples’ Cordillera Day celebration at Pacday Quinio Elementary School.
The consultation was attended by IPED coordinators, and History and Social Science teachers from public and private elementary and secondary schools from the different provinces.
According to Jeannette Ribaya-Cawiding, the regional coordinator of ACT-CAR, “it is high time that we talk about the IP Education in our education system and how educators can build an IP education that reflects the real situation of the indigenous peoples”
With the rampant discrimination and misrepresentation of the IPs’ history and culture in textbooks and mainstream media, a big challenge is posed to the teachers and educators to work together in battling misinformation and providing an IP education that genuinely teaches the rich history of the IPs.
“An IP education should not only be limited in discussing the culture of the indigenous peoples, it should be an IP education that teaches the long history of struggle and resistance of indigenous peoples for land, life and self-determination” Cawiding added.
Given the present situation that the Department of Education has not yet finalized an IPED Curriculum and still lacks textbooks about the IPs, it was also reiterated in the discussion that the relevance of the program comes with the inclusion of the common issues that affects the indigenous peoples and their communities such as institutionalized discrimination, right to ancestral land and domain, human rights violations, militarization and development aggression.
Former DSWD secretary and the current ACT-National Vice Chairperson Judy Taguiwalo also attended the consultation. According to her, “the challenge for teachers is how to implement an IP education that serves the IPs within the DepEd program”
In the spirit of the 34th Cordillera Day celebration, the consultation sparked motivation among the teachers and educators to take part in pushing for a nationalist and scientific IP education program.
“We should not forget the sacrifices of our hero like Ama Macliing Dulag who strongly protected our land from development aggression. As educators, it is our task to continue this struggle and to teach this to our students so that they will be able to stand up for our land” Ribaya told the participants.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers is set to conduct similar activities in the future and plans to come up with concrete recommendations for an IP education that will respond to the issues of IPs and truly journey with them in their assertion for self-determination. #nordis.net