DepEd develops curriculum for indigenous peoples

Published by rudy Date posted on September 16, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has initiated the development of an education curriculum that was designed to meet the learning needs of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) communities.

Through DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS), the Alternative Learning System (ALS) curriculum for IPs was developed in response to the Education For All (EFA) campaign to provide the basic learning needs of all marginalized learners.

According to Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro, the IP Education Curriculum for the ALS was developed in the year 2006 in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCJP) and was validated by various indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in the Philippines. The IP Curriculum is to be implemented by trained ALS implementers with IP learners.

“The learning competencies of the IP Curriculum were drawn from the existing ALS curriculum for the basic literacy, elementary and secondary levels,” Luistro explained. The curriculum content, however, was based on the Indigenous People Rights Act (IPRA) or the Republic Act (RA) no. 8371.

“The education goal of the IP Curriculum is the attainment of the functional literacy for the IPs,” he added.

Luistro said the IP Curriculum reflects the core areas of the IP’s concerns such as family life that touches on the life span of an IP as a member of the family from birth to death. “It delineates the varying roles of the members of the family and how these affect the individual and the whole ICC in their respective domains,” he said.

It also touches on the health, sanitation, and nutrition which brings into the fore the IP’s concept of self and the environment and how each interplays with the other. “It features the indigenous practices, knowledge, and local beliefs on hygiene, health and food. The core area discusses the common ailments and health issues confronting the IPs brought by their unique geographical locations and situations,” Luistro said.

The IP curriculum also focuses on civic consciousness which highlights the rich worldview of IPs ranging from their life ways, identity, and history. It is loaded heavily with their aspirations, needs and sentiments as a people.

Luistro said this core area also includes provisions of the RA No. 8321 or the IPRA which brings into consciousness the IP’s rights to their ancestral domain and their development.

“The IP curriculum also covers the economics and incomes because it presents the system of the community management of supply and demand among the IPs. It features the IP’s forms or earning a living and caring for their communal source of life and livelihood,” he said.

The curriculum will also be centered on environment which will deal with IP’s communion with nature. It stresses their strong attachment to the environment.

Through DepEd Order 101, s. 2010 released September 14, Luistro stated that the core learning competencies reflected in the learning strands of the IP curriculum have five Learning Strands.

This includes Learning Strand One – Communication Skills which aims to develop the ability of the IP learners to access, critically process and effectively make use of available information in a variety of media to be able to function effectively as a member of the family, community, nation and the world; and to actively participate in community and economic development. –INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT, Manila Bulletin

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