The Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPsEO) of the Department of Education (DepED) published earlier this month the monograph entitled “Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center: Culture-based education in a community school” as the first in a monograph series of indigenous education initiatives in the country.
The 50-page primer on the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) describes Bendum, the area and its people, its language and culture, set within a context of fragile peace and environment. Education at the margins is defined through the education history in the area, the learner, the culture-based education since the early 1990s, the subjects, and the grading system.
More importantly, culture-based education is part of the ancestral domain (gaup) and is the basis for the learning environment of the children and youth. Stressed within the publication is that the APC school is primarily a community school whereby the datu holds a “principal” role in the children’s education. Future options for the community in terms of livelihood, peace, and food security are also shared in the monograph, as the community accompanies the forests that accompany them.
Opening the monograph is a “welcome and blessing,” sections of which were recently shared by IPsEO Coordinator Rozanno “Butch” Rufino with DepED regional directors:
“More than just to document a case study or a project, this publication wishes to share the experience of duma, of accompanying the Pulangiyen as they seek a way forward for themselves and for their children. The initiative in Bendum began because the community recognized a need: a school for their children. They also welcomed the opportunity to work with others.”
“This is what it means to accompany a community – it means being open and being willing to take the time to listen and to learn, rather than simply taking the lead. To be welcomed by the Indigenous Peoples is to engage in a new way. It means to find a way of encountering people that is based on respect and appreciation of others. This kind of engagement is a learning process for both the community and its partners.”
“This monograph is an offering by the Pulangiyen community of Bendum led by Datu Nestor Menaling. It was written in order to share the learning and experiences with those actively assisting indigenous communities, as well as with those that may have limited opportunities to engage. It is hoped that this learning process will continue – for the Pulangiyen and for other communities who share a desire for education and a future for their cultures. This reflection that is shared and documented is a blessing.”
Click here to download the monograph.