BAGUIO CITY (February 20, 2021) — The Baguio City Council is requesting the Department of Education (DepEd) to allocate annual funds for the Institutionalized Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) to effectively educate and inform the rest of the Filipinos about the way of life of the indigenous peoples (IPs).
The Baguio City Council unanimously approved a resolution authored by Councilor Arthur Allad-iw that also urged DepEd to utilize IP educators in the local level for research towards publishing materials on IPs’ culture and heritage as part of the educational materials on IPs. This is to correct the more than a century misinformation that started during the Spanish colonization where the Spaniards used divide and rule tactics pitting the people in the lowlands against their highland counterparts which severed their pre-colonial harmonious relationship.
Allad-iw said such an animosity led to the discrimination against IPs. He said that it is sad to say that the discrimination continues and is visible in the textbooks that supposed to be vehicles of correcting the misinformation and molding the minds of the young to understand their fellow human beings. He cited the wrong and outrageous depicting of IPs particularly Igorots by individuals in their educational materials.
“Even post-colonial educational institutions mandated to provide education to all Filipinos committed and continuously commit mistakes in the learning materials by depicting IPs as backwards or being described in their prejudice, ” lamented Alad-iw. He said it should be corrected and the textbooks containing misinformation on IPs should be recalled.
Allad-iw said that one of the best way to correct the method is for DepEd to be serious enough in arming the IPED with enough funding and appropriate materials. He stressed that the information and data on IPs that will be written or featured in the textbooks and learning materials will be reliable and realistic when they will be written or provided by IP researchers and educators themselves.
Artemio A. Dumlao