Our natives may seem to adrift in the modern world, but they too have rights to be educated according to the government's laws. Evident that the country, rich in culture and traditional heritage have drifted along with the tide of progress leaving behind our brothers and sisters in far-fetched areas, in the mountains, in the islands, sitting, awaiting to be illuminated with the whole educational context which every child has a right to, even our indigenous people.
In light with this, the Department of Education (DepEd) have concerted much efforts in bringing our modernized education system (K to 12) to them.
This month they hosted a National Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) gathering at the DepEd Central Office, bringing together some 140 representatives from Indigenous Peoples Organizations/IP Communities, representatives from civil society/non-government organizations (NGOs) with IPEd Programs, IPEd advocates, and other government agencies that have a stake in strengthening mutli-sectoral support for DepEd’s IPEd Program and K to 12.
With the help of the Department’s Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPEO), a program was organized which included statements from representatives from DepEd, House of Representatives, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), civil society, and elders, leaders, and youth representing IP communities. A painting depicting elements and the education vision of IPEd was also symbolically unveiled by the participants at the start of the program.
As according to Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo gave DepEd’s message to the various IP representatives, speaking engagements are being made to IP continually so that DepEd can sufficiently give the right response towards education and that all of us is to be sensitive enough in considering their culture.
Amongts the people present were Rep. Nancy Catamco, Chair of the House Committee on Indigenous Peoples, Leonor Oralde-Quintayo, Chair of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Commissioner Alice Panares of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), ARMM Deputy Governor for Indigenous Peoples Timuay Hilario S. Tanzo, and Nemia Gareza of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
The event intends to increase awareness on DepEd’s IPEd Program and the educational vision of K to 12 and strengthen linkages among the various stakeholders towards the realization of a culture-responsive and contextualized education for IP communities. It was also a promotion of respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity of our communities and learners. The Department has been pursuing these advocacies in line with the National IPEd Policy Framework (DepEd Order No. 62, s. 2011).