NCIP Official Says K-12 is Important to Indigenous Culture Preservation

NCIP Official Says K-12 is Important to Indigenous Culture Preservation

May 2, 2015

BAGUIO CITY – If the indigenous culture is to be passed on to future generations, implementing the K to 12 system of education is a way of doing just that.

This is according to Commissioner Zenaida Hamada-Pawid of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, who spoke on “Benguet/Ibaloy History: Up Front and Personal” during the first Ibaloy Studies Conference held last April 24 and 25 at the University of the Philippines- Baguio.

“The K to 12 program—despite those who don’t want to change—is the perfect vehicle for people who have any blood of ethnicity in themselves to start defining and redefining who they are and making sure that in the future they do not disappear under the ‘etcetera’ or ‘others’ column,” Pawid said.

From Kindergarten to Grade 3 is “where the best of the best and the brightest of the brightest teachers should be”. These are the levels where subjects are taught in the native language and where local learning materials should be used, she added.

“The outcome of the K to 12 . . . is to instill in the Filipino child—whoever he is—the values and the character of the ethnic group where he or she belongs,” the commissioner said.

“Who are willing to teach in the native language? Who are you who will give the teachers—burdened as they are—the teaching and learning materials to be able to do it? Where are you? Who can do this? You are in the academe.”

Pawid went on to challenge the conference’s participants—most of whom are from the academe, local government units in Benguet and elsewhere, and scholars—to pass down indigenous knowledge.

The first Ibaloy Studies Conference, as part of UP Baguio’s continuing exploration of ethnicity issues in the Philippines and around the world, sought to address the need for a better appreciation of Ibaloy history and cultural heritage, in the city of Baguio and other spaces occupied by the Ibaloys.

The Conference featured presentations by respected scholars and personalities who have done researches or published works on the Ibaloys./JDP/Pryce E. Quintos – PIA CAR


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