The Baguio City Council has requested the Department of Education (DepEd) to allocate annual funds for an Institutionalized Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) that will effectively educate and inform the rest of the Filipinos in understanding the way of life of the indigenous peoples (IPs).
In a resolution unanimously adopted this week, DepEd is also being urged to utilize IP educators in the local level for research towards publishing materials on IPs’ culture and heritage as part of the educational materials on IPs.
Councilor Arthur Alad-iw in authoring the resolution said that this is to correct the more than a century misinformation that started during the Spanish colonization where the Spaniards used the divide and rule tactic pitting the people in the lowlands against their highland counterparts which severed their pre-colonnial harmonious relationship.
Allad-iw said such century-old animosity led to the discrimination against IPs.
He said discrimination continues and is now visible in the textbooks that are supposed to be the vehicles in correcting the misinformation that now are molding the minds of the young and resulting to the failure of understanding their fellow human beings.
This, he said, is seen in the educational materials given to students wherein IPs, particularly Igorots, are wrongfully and outrageously depicted.
“Even post-colonnial educational institutions mandated to provide education to all Filipinos committed nd continuously commit mistakes in the learning materials by depicting IPs as backwards or being described in their prejudice, “the councilor wrote in the resolution.
He likewise called the DepEd to recall said materials and make the necessary corrections.
He suggested that to correct the errors is for DepEd to arm the IPED with enough funding and appropriate materials.
Alad-iw, a member of an IP group, stressed that the information and data on IPs that will be written or featured in the textbooks and learning materials will be reliable and realistic if these are written or provided by IP researchers and educators.
The DepEd in its bid to strengthen and facilitate its engagement with the IP communities, it employed IPED to promote culture-based education.
The DepEd – Cordillera, meanwhile, also suggested that they publish a coffee table book on IPs.