Six Cordillera congressmen Monday filed two resolutions that sought rectification of Department of Education manuals used by students, even as Baguio councilors urge the department to further strength their quality assurance mechanism to ensure all learning materials must pass through proper screening ort assessment before production or publication.
In House Resolution 1552, congressmen Allen Jesse Mangaoang (Kalinga), Maximo Dalog, Jr. (Mountain Province), Eric Go Yap (Benguet, ECT CIS), Solomon Chungalao (Ifugao) and Elias Bulut, Jr. (Apayao), condemned the DepEd for erroneous portrayal of Igorots in their textbook, learning modules and instructional materials.
They likewise directed the DepEd to make a thorough review of all said learning materials and correct any text that depict in a discriminatory way Igorots likewise stop the circulation of said learning materials.
In HR 1554, Baguio Rep. Marques Go, meanwhile, wants the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture and the Indigenous Peoples to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation same.
Mangaoang is chair of the committee on Indigenous People.
In filing said resolution which was read on same day, Go said: “As the duly elected Representative of Baguio City, it is my duty to uphold the constitution in recognizing, respecting and protecting the rights of the indigenous cultural communities.”
He added: “Education is the most essential aspect that will determine the future of our nation and it is unacceptable that such discriminatory statements are included in the self- learning modules given to students.”
He emphasized that the wrong depiction of Igorots will “will have a negative impact on our society and will gravely compromise the values of our youth.”
He added that he calls “on all educators and personnel of the DepEd, responsible for the academic, cultural, social, and moral development of Filipino children, to stand at the forefront of eliminating all forms of discrimination that are against Filipino indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities and must take immediate and appropriate measures to correct the errors contained in the modules.”
Meanwhile, at Baguio City Hall, Cayabas said that Congress will do its own investigation and have DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones answering in behalf of the department the errors that has discriminated Igorots.
This was a response to the call of fellow councilor Fred Bagbagen to have Sec. Briones at the city council as well as the regional director of DepEd and authors since he wants “their heads.”
In his post on social media, Bagbagen said: “This is not acceptable, It is not surprising that the quality of our education is very poor, manned by ignorant and incompetent people.”
In his resolution, Cayabas, the chair on education, culture, creativity and historical research, said: “the existence of error-filled learning materials is blatant indication that the supposed meticulous checking, through review and careful evaluation of the education manuscripts were not diligently undertaken by the concerned DepEd Bureaus before mass production, reproduction and publication.”
Cayabas, the city schools board representative, added: Diligent and careful checking of module content is highly necessary as incorrect and inappropriate information can lead to miseducation of our young learners.”
He further said: “Discrimination either intentional or due of lack of knowledge or sheer ignorance has no place in our education sector. Prompt action and proactive measure from the Department of Education is expected to rectify all this demeaning, maligning, misleading and erroneous information.”
The DepEd – Cordillera, said that one of the erroneous depiction of Igorots was traced to a school in Nueva Vizcaya. Said module has been removed from circulation likewise, DepEd Region 2 has apologized to DepEd Cordillera, while assuring that rectification shall be made.
In a press statement, DepEd Cordillera said: “Hindi dapat magkaroon ng puwang ang diskriminasyon sa ating lipunan. Ang ating paglaban upang masiguro na edukasyon ay nagtataguyod ng pagkakapantay-pantay at respeto sa isa’t isa ay isang mahabang lakbayin pa, kaya naman sinisiguro ng Kagawaran na gagawin nito ang kaniyang parte upang masugpo ang diskriminasyon sa mga paaralan at opisina.” (Discrimination has no place in our society. Our fight to have an education that will ensure equality and respect for each other is still a long journey and the department assures that it will do its part to stop any form of discrimination in the school and office).
Last week, DepEd Cordillera regional director Estela Carino made the call for everyone to report all errors found in learning materials.