THE Gobyernong may Puso (government with a heart) of independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe has committed to make education inclusive by providing more government support to send more indigenous youth to school.
“Education should be accessible to everyone, especially to the most disadvantaged groups. Our youth belonging to minorities should have adequate learning opportunities using a system that is appropriate to their culture and is appreciative of their heritage,” said Poe, a former teacher.
The senator said if she is given a chance to lead the country, she will put an end to long-standing marginalization of indigenous peoples (IPs) and ensure equal access to education for all Filipinos.
The problem being faced by the IPs is one of the problems that the Aquino administration supposedly failed to address despite claiming to have officials with vast experience in government.
Based on an assessment of the Unesco on the Philippine education system, there were 997,138 indigenous learners enrolled in elementary and 246,820 enrolled in high school.
Twenty-one percent of all indigenous students can be found in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Poe said aside from making education accessible to IPs, her government will also assist in the development of a curriculum framework for them in order to make education culturally rooted.
Her administration will also make sure that schools will be constructed within a 5-kilometer radius of IP communities.
“We may have a good curriculum but if our youth cannot physically access schools, what’s the point? We have to hire and train more teachers there” said Poe, who is scheduled to visit Mountain Province today.