February 1, 2023

The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 mandates curriculum should be contextualized.

Contextualization is the educational process of relating the curriculum to a setting, situation, or area of application to make the competencies relevant, meaningful, and useful to all learners.

The degree of contextualization may be described and distinguished as localization or indigenization.

Localization refers to the process of relating learning content specified in the curriculum to local information and materials in the learners’ community. The teacher will use local products, materials or literature (short story, poem) to explain their lessons.

On the other hand, indigenization refers to the process of enhancing curriculum competencies, education resources, and teaching-learning processes in relation to the bio-geographical, historical, and socio-cultural context of the learners’ community.

It can be done through integrating culture, practices or tradition to the topic, such as discussion of a community’s calendar of star patterns and its background before discussing the Greek Constellation.

The goal of contextualization is to enable the learners to be aware of their cultures, beliefs, and traditions. In the same manner, it allows the teachers to use available resources in their community.

In the classroom observation tool, teachers must adopt and use culturally appropriate teaching strategies.

It is believed that this will address the needs of learners from indigenous groups. Mostly, teachers integrate practices, beliefs, cultures and traditions of their own locality in the lesson. I observed that students can easily relate and understand the lesson well. It is evident that contextualization plays a vital role in the students’ comprehension and mastery.

A research conducted by Marchee T. Picardal, et. al involving 713 secondary and tertiary-level students indicates that contextualized instruction contributed improvement in Science learning.

Students’ appreciation to their own culture, tradition, practices, and beliefs is also observed in the application of contextualization. Thus, indigenization and localization are very effective to keep students abreast of their own cultures and traditions. They should value them because those are inheritances from their ancestors.

We should not let the young generations become ignorant of our cultures and traditions. They must be proud of our forefathers’ way of life. Their works, arts, beliefs and practices were the beginning of a meaningful life. It also served as the foundation of development and advancement. Hence, those things need to be echoed from generation to generation.

It is so heartwarming to see some tribes that still cling to the cultures and traditions that were introduced by their ancestors. Binnadang, og-ogfu, and bayanihan ignite unity and progress of the Cordilleran. They remain solid in helping each other especially in times of adversities and sorrows. May this practice continue to maintain peace and economic stability in our community.

The celebration of Indigenous Peoples Month will be a great help in recognizing indigenous groups. It also aims to promote indigenous products, materials and local tourist spots or sceneries. Indigenous groups deserve to enjoy their freedom, recognition and progress. Let no one disrespect or condemn any indigenous group. Respect, love and acceptance must reign in our hearts for world peace and prosperity.

American businessman and advocate Rebecca Adamson said, “In a society where all are related, simple decisions require the approval of nearly everyone in that society. It is society as a whole, not merely a part of it that must survive. This is the indigenous understanding. It is the understanding in a global sense. We are all indigenous people on this planet, and we have to reorganize to get along.”