Schools for Mindanao indigenous peoples up

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THE Department of Education (Deped) said on Friday that five new school buildings will be constructed for Higaonon communities in Gingoog, Misamis Oriental province, as part of its commitment in providing culture-based education and help ensure lasting peace in Mindanao.

The new schools, which will be built in Barangay Kalipay, Hin-dangon, Bantaawan, and Bal-ason, and will be ready to accept the first batch of learners this coming school year.

Meanwhile, in other parts of Mindanao, the education department will construct 246 more schools for the indigenous communities in Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. It will construct a total of 251 schools for IP learners in time for school year 2016-2017.

There will be a total of 605 classrooms constructed in partnership with the Kalahi-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.


The DepEd will also hire about 583 teachers for the new schools, expected to serve some 19, 622 learners coming from 22 indigenous cultural communities.

Last year, the education department adopted the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Curriculum Framework (DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2015), which was formulated in consultation with community elders, leaders, and implementers of community-based IPEd initiatives. The framework provides guidance in contextualizing the K- to-12 [Kindergarten to Grade 12] Curriculum based on the indigenous community’s res-pective educational and so- cial background.

As a major milestone in the implementation of DepEd’s IPEd program, the IPEd Curriculum Framework will benefit more than 1.19 million IP learners enrolled in public schools, as well as learners enrolled in community and civil society organization-run schools.

Through the inauguration of a pakedlan—an indigenous space for coming together of the Kankanaey peoples of Benguet—and a ritual performed at the Baguio Teachers Camp with the participation of representatives of indigenous communities from different parts of the country, the gathering likewise strengthened the partnership towards the full recognition of indigenous knowledge and learning systems within the national education system.

Among other initiatives, DepEd has also forged a partnership with Lubos na Alyansa ng mga Katutubong Ayta ng Sambales (LAKAS) for the implementation of an IPEd Program at Lakas High School, which is the first formal culture-based public secondary school specifically serving the Ayta community in Bihawo, Botolan, Zambales province.

The establishment of new schools in Gingoog is part of the government’s commitment to the sustainable development and aspirations of indigenous communities by working with them in the delivery of culture-based basic education services for the learners in the area.

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