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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Boardmember Nestor Fongwan, Jr. urged the education department to be culturally sensitive in the provision of contents of the modules and other learning resources being prepared and used in schools nationwide to avoid the repeated discrimination of indigenous peoples like the Igorots.
In a proposed resolution, Fongwan, who is the president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) Benguet Chapter, stated that the education department sanctioned modules and other learning resources that contain degrading and discriminatory statements against indigenous peoples is not helping the ongoing government efforts to eradicate the discrimination against indigenous peoples but it further espouses prejudice to the IPs and indigenous cultural communities by depicting inferior traits to them.
The boardmember claimed that recently, there had been modules and other learning materials and resources that were posted and circulated in the social media depicting derogatory statements detrimental to the indigenous peoples most especially the Igorots who are residing in the different parts of the country that caused an uproar among the Igorots in the different parts of the world.
He pointed out that the defective modules and other learning resources were prepared by educators and sanctioned by the regional directors of the education department before being distributed and used in the various schools in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“The indigenous peoples in the various parts of the country had long been discriminated and numerous efforts had been undertaken to stop any form of discrimination against them but it seems that such efforts had been in vain as the discrimination has continued unnoticed through the years,” Boardmember Fongwan stressed.
According to him, the Igorots had suffered too much in terms of discrimination that is why the education department should step up in their efforts to prevent the rampant belittling of the indigenous peoples because the same does not help in appropriately teaching the present and future generations about the respect that should be bestowed to the indigenous peoples who are also considered as part of the Filipino population.
Fongwan suggested that the education department must continue embarking on a sustainable effort to appropriately educate people in treating indigenous peoples in equal footing to their fellow Filipinos because they are from a single identity.
The boardmember asserted that education officials must ensure that there will be no more derogatory remarks that should be contained in future modules and learning resources that will be prepared by educators in the coming schoolyear once the ongoing blended learning will be carried over to the next schoolyear to serve as a preventive measure to contain the spread of the virus.
The resolution will be forwarded to education officials led by Secretary Leonor Briones and all regional directors of the agency for their information, guidance and further needed action that will contribute in abating the spread of the deadly virus among the populace because of the threat that it poses to the greater majority of the population.