Towards a holistic, culture-based education

School year 2019-2020 marks the first year that APC is offering vocational classes as part of its Senior High School program. The five Grades 11 and six Grade 12 students were divided into two classes, according to their choice: a dressmaking class and a masonry class, both taught by local resource persons. Students learned to make shorts, skirts, pants, and curtains in Dressmaking. The class was also tasked to sew the cultural attires for
graduation. The masonry students, on the other hand, contributed to current construction projects by assisting in toilet construction and in building the new high school administration building.

This year is also the first time that APC is offering formal art and music classes, which contributed greatly in making the students’ school experience more balanced and well-rounded, as these classes offered a break from academics and gave students a different sense of accomplishment as they honed their singing and guitar-playing skills and learned to create different kinds of artworks, including origami and those that make use of natural items that come from the gaup (ancestral domain). In sports classes, students learned to play frisbee and volleyball.

One of the cornerstones of APC education is its formative subject, taught by a local teacher, which focuses on forming the self and character. When asked about their experience of APC education, many students say that one of the most important things they have obtained from APC is a greater sense of who they are. The meditative, reflective, creative, and sharing space afforded by the formative class helps students get to know themselves better and reflect more deeply on their experiences, learnings, behaviors, and struggles. They gain confidence and are empowered to face other people and speak about their experiences and their culture while also knowing the importance of listening to the other and what they have to contribute.

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