Walk Amongst our people (Day 23)
by Rey Laguda
(This is the 23rd day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)
In what would probably be Br Armin's last official trip to Mindanao (and mine as well), it is but fitting that we take a trip to Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental to celebrate the opening of schools specific for Indigenous Peoples. A total of 258 schools will be put up by June of this year (including 8 that were set up in 2015) in 5 regions in Mindanao. These schools will be set up in locations identified as a result of consultations with community elders. Infrastructure will be built according to locally acceptable designs and preferences. Contextualization of materials have also been ongoing working with community experts.
Yesterday, we handed 39 Philippine flags to community stakeholders and school personnel as a symbol of the opening of the same number of IP schools on June 13 in Region X.
Br. Armin has been talking about forgiveness and atonement for the institutional and societal shortcomings by not addressing the needs or upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples. And he reminds us that by recognizing our shortcomings, we come closer to bridging the gaps and learning from each other. There is a need to engage with each other.
I find that proper and mature dialogue and discourse is something our country badly needs. Our inability to do so lead to conflict and misunderstanding, discrimination and prejudice, and poverty and inequity. And if we are to engage in such, it is important for us to learn the definition and value of solidarity. Only then can we truly see and experience the world from their point of view.