LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Department of Education–Cordillera Administrative Region (DepEd-CAR) unveiled during their annual education congress October 3 an Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) Roadmap geared towards ensuring a culturally rooted and responsive basic education.

The IPED roadmap lays the foundations and conditions for the full implementation of a contextualized formal education, alternative learning systems curricula and the support for indigenous learning systems which is fulfilling both the goals of K to 12 and Executive Order 220 or the Creation of a Cordillera Administrative Region in preparation for autonomy said OIC Assistant Regional Director Soraya Faculo.

"For a couple of years, the Basic Education Congress is held in October, in time for the celebration of the Indigenous Peoples month to indicate our collective spirit in the journey towards the realization of a Cordillera IPED curriculum that captures all the knowledge systems of the old and appropriate for our Cordillera learners – an education that is culturally sensitive taking into account the numerous languages we have and an education that is respectful of Cordillera learners’ culture and worldview," added Faculo.

The new roadmap which covers 2016 to 2021 involves activities and initiatives like the continuous effort to draft and validate contextualized lesson plans and learning resource materials; validation of tools for monitoring and evaluation of such materials; formulation of standards for learning spaces in the region; participation of the community of elders in monitoring and evaluation; development of working orthographies for major languages; institutionalization of a NEAP-accredited Higher Education institution to offer graduate courses on IPED for the benefit of educators; and establishment of fully functional IPED Learning Resource Centers in all divisions among others.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Alberto Muyot lauded the region for doing a great job in providing the model for the IPED program implementation in which there is a need for different approaches and engagement mechanisms with indigenous communities.

"CAR has taken the lead and showed the rest of the regions how IP education should be done, you are the ones providing the impetus for IP education as well as promotion of Mother-Tongue Based and Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE). We are proud that the divisions here have taken the initiative in developing the orthography for the different languages in the Cordillera," said the Undersecretary.

DepEd–CAR, six years ago, unveiled an IP roadmap in cognizance to DepEd Order 62, series 2011 entitled Adopting the National Indigenous Peoples Education Policy Framework. The concluded roadmap, included consultations and trainings with a council of elders from the different provinces and ethnic groups, educators, and field experts.

The basic education congress this year aimed to look back at these efforts and assess where the region is in relation to the implementation and expectations of the K to 12 program as reflected in the previous IPED roadmap which ends this year.

With the new roadmap in place, CAR hopes the education system here will be truly rooted in the knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices of the Cordillera peoples by 2021. (Georaloy Palao-ay/DepEd-CAR)