The Department of Education (DepEd) strengthened its policy on Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) by developing and implementing an IPEd Program in line with the National Indigenous Peoples Education Policy Framework. This framework is based on DepEd Order No. 62, s. 2011 entitled Adopting the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education Policy Framework and Republic Act (RA) No. 10533, otherwise known as the Basic Education Act of 2013.
As the IPEd Program is now formally recognized as an essential part of DepEd’s Kto12 Curriculum and as stipulated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10533 (Section 8.4), the Department of Education Compostela Valley Division, in partnership with Good Neighbors International Philippines through Project HOPE collaborated in the belief that collective efforts play a critical role in helping our education system become more inclusive and responsive to the diversity of learners and communities around the country, particularly in Longganapan, Laak, Compostela Valley where the Dibabawon community resides.
Through Project HOPE, a 15-day learning session about the Dibabawon Tribe Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices was conducted for Dibabawon community members. During these sessions, successes, setbacks, and insights about the indigenous learning system were also gathered. Through these, the opening to new experiences and challenges emerged as a key initiative for the Dibabawon tribe to make in order to better the chances for progress that are for the overall benefit of the indigenous people learners, children, and community.
According to various IP stakeholders, Project HOPE made a big difference in their lives and in their engagement in the community. It allowed them to feel a sense of support in learning their culture, history, and languages. While volunteer teachers involved in the program are not necessarily considered as experts in some aspects of the tribal culture, they are considered as a great help in providing access to learning resources for community members, more specifically for indigenous elders and culture masters.
The Provincial Local Government of Compostela Valley, through the leadership of Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, launched the Bayanihan Para sa Karunungan Program (BPSKP) back in 2012. One of the key initiatives of BPSKP is its continuing effort to promote and protect the welfare of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous people within the province. It is in this program that Project HOPE will be sustained at the community level as an additional project dynamism in aid of ensuring that every child in the province has access to quality education. With this institutionalization, the program aims to develop a sense of history and appreciation of cultural identity among the Lumad school children. Most importantly, it aims to reinstitute and strengthen the presence of the traditional arts and music, beliefs and practices, as well as the traditional dishes and delicacies. With the positive response of the stakeholders, including the parents and teachers, Bayanihan Para sa Karunungan-Project HOPE will surely go a long way in regenerating the somewhat disappearing cultural traditions and practices by educating the younger education as education plays a key role in promoting true recognition of the indigenous life practices and traditions that are undeniably an enormous part of our ancestry as a nation.
Dr. Hilda Opeña
Education Program Supervisor – English
Department of Education
Division Office of Compostela Valley