December 2, 2022

The Department of Education Cordillera is reiterating an appeal to its central office to allow the regional office to craft its own curriculum for Cordillera indigenous peoples’ languages and culture.
In light of the continuing wrong depictions of IPs, particularly Igorots, in textbooks and recently in some learning modules of students, DepEd-CAR Director Estela L. Cariño told the city council during its March 1 session that they have been appealing to the DepEd central office to approve their request that they be allowed to make a curriculum suited for Cordillera students using their own languages in learning the Cordillera culture.
The request, which includes allowing the DepEd regional office to use the IP Education (IPED) program funds for the purpose, has not yet been approved up to this time according to Cariño.
She said they would appreciate if the city council could support the request via a resolution or any appropriate legislative action.
Cariño revealed while they receive learning materials prepared and provided by their central office, the region does not actually use them; instead teachers have to translate it since these are written in Iloko.
“What is actually happening now is the resources given to us are written in Iloko, which Region 1 (Ilocos Region) would not even accept because there are some terms which are not theirs. So what we do is we keep on translating it to our own dialects even when we do not have that much funds,” Cariño said.
She said as much as they want to make instruction in the region more effective, they are covered by policies of the central office.
“We have a report, which asks for the central office to allow us window on how to use the IPED funds and for us to be allowed to make our own curriculum for IP languages, not necessarily using Iloko. What is happening now is these are printed, released to us, but we are not using it because our kids are not all Iloko speaking. It’s not even Iloko Baguio, that is why we translate it to Ibaloy or Kankana-ey,” she said.
She said they support the proposal seeking to abrogate the implementation of the mother tongue-based multi-lingual education for students in kindergarten to grade 3 as provided for in the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, and to relegate said languages as auxiliary media of instruction, filed as House Bill 6405 by Baguio Rep. Mark Go last year.
“We are supporting it because it is not our mother tongue that is being used. It is double effort for our teachers to keep on translating. Why not go back to the usual one that we had? Since Iloko is a second language, then we better use our national language.which is Filipino,” Cariño said.
However, she suggested retaining the subject on mother tongue, “so that in all of the different provinces, we will follow the curriculum which we will prepare, using the language and culture of that municipality or province,” Cariño said.
Cariño and representatives of private schools and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples were invited to the council session on motion of Councilor Fred Bagbagen, who said there is a need to put an end, once and for all, to misrepresentations and wrong information on IPs that unfortunately even in the 21st century are still being perpetuated.
The concerned city council committee has been tasked to study the points raised during the discussions and to come up with a corresponding measure. – Hanna C. Lacsamana