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January 7, 2015

DepEd issues guidelines on respecting indigenous peoples culture

As a result of consultations with various Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities, educators, and civil society support groups nationwide, the Department of Education (DepEd) has released an order promulgating "Guidelines on the Conduct of Activities and Use of Materials Involving Aspects of Indigenous Peoples Culture.”

Signed by Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC at the National Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Gathering, the guidelines seek to provide guidance on the ethical assessment of the conduct of learning activities and related engagements of schools, DepEd offices, and other education initiatives that involve various aspects of indigenous peoples culture (e.g., ‘cultural’ presentations, performances, festivals, use of artifacts and indigenous clothing).
Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro welcomes indigenous peoples community leaders at the signing of DepEd Order 51, s. 2014, "Guidelines on the Conduct of Activities and Use of Materials Involving Aspects of Indigenous Peoples Culture.”
Luistro expressed his gratitude to the IP leaders who continue to engage with DepEd in pursuing IPEd. “Ang lahat po ng mga kwento, mga awitin, at mga ritwal na inyong ipinapadala sa amin ngayon ay isang pagbabalik-tanaw sa kung sino ang Pilipino. Maraming salamat sa mga panahon na pinagtibay ninyo ang inyong mga paniniwala at hindi ninyo pinagpalit ang tunay na diwang Pilipino.”

The signing event was preceded by a consultation with IP community representatives and support groups, who welcomed the order and were instrumental in crafting the guidelines. Luistro emphasized the importance of cultural exchange in the constant effort to better understand and value indigenous culture in education.

He said, “Kami po sa Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ay patuloy na pinag-aaralan ang mga katutubo nating kaalaman. Kami po ay mga guro pero alam ko po na sa larangan ng katutubong kultura ay marami pang dapat malaman. Hindi po kami mga eksperto sa mga bahaging ito. Kaya hinihiling namin sa umagang ito na huwag po ninyo ipagkait sa amin ang mga katutubong kaalaman, bagkus, patunayan po ninyo na kayo ang tunay na nangangatawan sa pinapahalagahan ng ating mga katutubong komunidad.”

“Sa atin pong paghahanap ng ating katutubong diwa bilang mga Pilipino, makikita po siguro natin ito sa iba't ibang mga katutubong kaalaman, mga katutubong awitin, kwento, ritwal, at iba't ibang mga pinapahalagahan na ngayo'y nasa inyong mga komunidad,” Luistro said.

Apart from issuing the said guidelines, the DepEd had also begun recognizing private educational institutions serving IP learners in an effort to promote the right of IP communities to cultural integrity and due recognition of "katutubong kaalaman" in the education system.

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