Jenny Lynn Lee
Last August, APC attended at the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education in Davao a conference focused on exploring how government and private groups can work together to sustain indigenous education in the country.
The conference was organized by the Assisi
Development Foundation (ADF) and was attended by civil society organizations (CSOs), DepEd regional representatives, and a few mayors.
Several schools and CSOs shared about their experiences of partnering with local governments and the Department of Education. Mercy Pakiwag, APC head teacher, talked about APC’s engagements with DepEd over the years, which include a curriculum development initiative for Higaonon and Umajamnen cultures in 2009 and the present project to develop APC’s management capacities under the PRIME funding facility. PRIME stands for “Philippine Response to Indigenous and Muslim Education.”
Much of the conference was spent discussing and drawing up a list of recommendations to move indigenous education forward. The resulting recommendations include DepEd funding for indigenous education, separate requirements for indigenous schools, and different certification standards for indigenous teachers. ADF also stressed the need for community-led enterprises, beyond government assistance, to financially support indigenous education efforts.