DepEd's K to 12 and Mother Tongue Education

At first glance, we may be easily deceived that DepEd's K to 12 aims to promote the various indigenous cultures of the Philippines. After all, the new curriculum trumpets an education that is both rooted and responsive to culture. Unfortunately, these words are all empty for it is only in the implementation that we can see sincerity in purpose.

Learning materials provide us a way to evaluate a curriculum. Textbooks are read by teachers and pupils. Yet, as the Cordilleran Sun points out, one particular textbook received the following amount of attention:
  • it had one consultant
  • it had three editors
  • it had thirteen (13) writers
  • it was examined by two people
The book is "Kultura ng mga Pangkat Etniko, Mahalagang Malaman" (The Culture of Ethnic Groups, Important to Know). The Cordillera Sun takes issue with a paragraph in this textbook:
"Tinatayang may humigit kumulang 180 pangkat etniko sa Pilipinas. sa Luzon, ilan sa mga kilala ang mga Aeta sa Mountain Province, Bikolano sa Kabikulan, Gaddang at Ibanag sa Gitnang Luzon, Ivatan sa Batanes, Mangyan sa Mindoro, Tagalog sa Kamaynilaan, at iba pa. Sa Visayas at Mindanao ay kilala rin ang mga Subanon sa Zamboanga Peninsula, Bisaya sa Kabisayaan, Zamboangueno sa Kamindanawan, at marami pang iba." (It is estimated that there are more or less 180 ethnic groups in the Philippines, in Luzon, the well known Aetas in the Mountain Province, Bicolanos in the Bicol region, Gaddang and Ibanag in Central Luzon, Ivatan in Batanes, Mangyans in Mindoro, Tagalogs in Manila , and others. In Visayas and Mindanao, known groups are the Subanon in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Visayans in the Visayan region, Zamboanguenos in Mindanao, and many more.)
A mural painting of an Igorota during the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival.
Copied from the Cordillera Sun
The book clearly makes the error that Aetas are from the Mountain Province. The following are excerpts from Wikipedia:
Aetas: The Aeta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of the Philippines. They are nomadic and build only temporary shelters made of sticks driven to the ground and covered with the palm of banana leaves. The well-situated and more modernized Aetas have moved to villages and areas of cleared mountains. They live in houses made of bamboo and cogon grass. Aetas are found in Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Panay, Bataan and Nueva Ecija, but were forced to move to resettlement areas in Pampanga and Tarlac following the devastating Mount Pinatubo eruption in June 1991.
Mountain Province: Mountain Province (Filipino: Lalawigang Bulubundukin), is a landlocked province of thePhilippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bontoc... ...Based on the 2000 census survey, 52% of the population are Kankana-ey. Other ethnic groups living in the province are the Balangao 13.6%, Ibontoc 12%, and other ethnicity, such as the Ilocano, comprise about 21.6% of the province's population.
Igorots: Igorot, or Cordillerans, is the collective name of several Austronesian ethnic groups in The Philippines, who inhabit the mountains of Luzon. These highland peoples inhabit the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, and Mountain Province, as well as Baguio City and the adjacent province of Nueva Vizcaya.
Indigenous people deserve our respect. The least we could do is to avoid miseducating the children about them.