Learning from the Subanen (Day 24)by Rey Laguda
(This is the 24th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)
From the time the Department of Education issued a policy on recognizing the
Indigenous Learning Systems and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (D.O. 62, s2011) of communities, the Division of Misamis Occidental embarked on a process that would really set them apart in responding to the needs and context of their learners. Working with the Subanen Community in their province, they consulted with the tribal leaders (Gukom) and cultural masters following a community-based, culture-based and rights-based approach. The division had to follow the tradition of 'pananghid' or seeking permission through consultation whenever activities had to take place such as crafting a curriculum.
They adopted their own Division framework that would define how they were going to focus on Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education. The Project SUBA (Subanong Balasahon) was launched with the aim of preserving indigenous knowledge and culture. It included the production of poems, songs and stories written in Subanen language all moving towards creating a School of Living Tradition in the province.
Yesterday, we went to Mamalad Elementary School in Calamba, Misamis Occidental to witness a ceremonial launch of the IP Education Curriculum and also see the materials that have been developed by our teachers and supervisors together with the learners and the community leaders. We were also there to learn how they express their rights for self determination. We were there to understand and know who they are.
This is happening in other regions where there are continuing efforts to work with Indigenous Peoples Communities in recognizing local traditions and culture that reflect their dreams, aspirations, history, and values. Localization and contextualization must continue to make education and learning more vibrant, relevant and life-giving.