QUEZON CITY, Oct. 23 (PIA) - A network of educators in the country, the E-Net Philippines, reiterated their call for sustainable, quality, and culture-based education for learners in the indigenous communities.
As a national coalition of 130 member-civil society organizations and partners, E-Net Philippines represents non-government organizations on literacy in the Department of Education's Literacy Coordinating Council (DepEd-LCC).
In a webinar titled, "Advancing Indigenous Peoples Right to a Sustainable, Quality, and Culture-based Education," E-Net partnered with ChildFund to raise awareness and promote action for advancing Indigenous Peoples' right to education.
E-Net emphasized the importance of allowing the IP communities to maintain their own schools, carry out their own educational activities, and teach using their own language.
"We also want to hear from the Department of Education (DepEd) on the condition of the almost 2.9-million IP learners, based on DepEd 2019 enrolment data, who may or may not have enrolled this school year, given the complications to access education brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic," said E-Net President Flora Arellano in a press statement.
Although the group of educators appreciates the presence and efforts undertaken through the DepEd's National Indigenous Peoples Education (NIPED), they "continue to ask for further cooperation and Indigenous Peoples' participation in developing more education policies and curricula that are well-resourced, culturally- sensitive and aligned with the learning needs of our IP learners," Arellano said.
Specifically, the group encouraged the DepEd and the national government to:
1. Create an enabling environment for stakeholders' partnerships with the DepEd and vice versa, to support the development of a sustainable, quality and culture-based education in IP communities.
2. Provide for the establishment of community learning centers (CLCs) in 100-identified communities without access to government schools, more so in this time of the pandemic.
3. Hire, train and deploy IP teachers to teach in IP community schools. Consequently, gather IP leaders as resource persons and as partners in the drafting of curricula and learning materials made for and by IPs.
4. Higher budget allocation for the implementation of programs under the National Indigenous Peoples Education (NIPED).
5. Inclusion of IP learners under the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
6. Inter-Agency cooperation and strategy to address and arrest the increasing number of children and youth who are out of school and deprived of education. (MTQ/PIA-IDPD with Information from E-Net Philippines)