THE Department of Education (DepEd) recently launched the first T’boli Senior High School after consulting the indigenous people’s community, local government and education partners.
“This is the first of its kind. We endeavored to make sure that the curriculum as well as the high school’s offerings are in line with indigenous people’s culture and language. [Schools should be the] link between culture and development,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said.
Luistro added that the Ateneo de Davao helped the Education department realized the T’boli high school.
The DepEd chief pointed out that the education system should be inclusive and centered on the needs of learners.
“We are a nation in search of who we are. Until we are able to return to the roots of our indigenous peoples, we will never be able to find our souls,” Luistro said.
“If we are serious about being learner-centered, we should also be serious about being culturally sensitive,” he added.
Luistro dedicated the launching of the T’boli Senior High School to Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardee, the late Lang Dulay.
“We need to understand and nurture our culture so that the works of Lang Dulay will not be lost and that we can pass on her dreams and arts to the next generation,” he said.
The high school will be initially lodged at the Lake Sebu National High School in South Cotabato with approximately 45 students for its early implementation of Grade 11 for the school year 2015-2016.
It will be offering technical-vocational track, focusing on Sustainable Community Resources Management with two options, Agriculture and Ecotourism.
Datu Benito Blonto, chairman of the Municipal Tribal Council of Lake Sebu, said proper consultation and coordination with parents and students in the T’boli community, Lake Sebu National High School and other education stakeholders were crucial in creating the program.
The program intends to produce graduates who are capable of developing and managing their own resources and creating sustainable livelihood and opportunities for the T’boli community where the school is situated.
Graduates under the program will be equipped with entrepreneurial and management skills, making them prepared for small-scale business ventures or communal cooperative management.