ONE of the challenges of Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) teachers is the identification of cultural practices that manifest the values of the people. The aim of the contextualization program of the Department of Education (DepEd) is to make the values concepts relatable to the students which shall give them a concrete or better grasp of the values being taught in the EsP subject.
In my readings of EsP education, I came up with the research of Cresilda Peli, a teacher of Nelmida Elementary School in Koronadal City, entitled “Development of Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao Module in Blaan.” This is an interesting subject of research because the author developed a module in EsP based on the practices of Blaan people. Blaans and T’bolis have a similar culture which they came from, the same root of their ancestor. The researcher gathered information based on literature and through conducting interviews using guide questions for the respondents to determine the Blaan practices. Then she developed the six learning topics that cover self-identity, responsibility, awareness, respect, honesty, and love. To ensure that the developed module is quality -assured, the writer seeked the assistance of EsP teachers and experts in module-making to evaluate it.
Blaan Grade 1 pupils will certainly become more engaging in answering the module because it was developed based on their cultural practices. It would be easier for these pupils to understand the basic concepts of self-identity, responsibility, awareness, respect, honesty, and love. Aside from the Blaan, the module can also be used by other teachers in teaching pupils who belong to other indigenous groups especially those with similar cultural practices and beliefs.
Another related EsP education research is the study of Rommel Chac-ip, a teacher in Bayabat Elementary School, Tabuk City entitled “Incorporation of Isumacher Indigenous Songs in EsP Subject: A Preservation of the Kalinga Cultural Values.” The author identified Isumacher Indigenous songs which reflected cultural values that can be used in teaching Edukasyon sa Pagpapkatao (EsP) subject. In his research for instance, he came up with the song “Tufag” which reflected the values of family solidarity, care, and concern. There is also the song “Uwawi” that reflect values of love, patience, care, and family bonding. The teacher conducted a pre-test to gauge the learning of the student without the aid of the local/indigenous songs then after incorporating the Isumacher songs, he gave the pupils a post-test to weigh the efficacy of the strategy. The result showed a positive result based both on the mean of the quantitative measure and the responses based on the interviews (qualitative) conducted.
Both these researches were published in a recognized research publication online where I obtained the information. These two studies proved the efficacy of employing cultural practices in imparting values being taught in EsP. These are two ways for teachers which contextualization can be applied in teaching the subject. As Peli wrote, it is important to recognize that the Indigenous peoples like all others have their own “educational system”, that is, they have effective ways of training the children and instilling attitudes and values essential to the functioning of their society. It is our function to identify these values and make them alive in our activities and in our discussion to maximize a robust teaching-learning process in the EsP subject. There are various ways to identify the values in a culture. It can be found in their daily activities, songs, celebrations, and other practices.
I am convinced that the discussions in the EsP modules provided by DepEd do not fit the current intellectual level of the majority of students in the country. The bases of most of these discussions are philosophical ideas. EsP teachers must exert effort to understand the cocepts of each module and try to translate them to the students in a way that they can be easily understood. Contextualization through cultural integration must be done. EsP teachers can also conduct similar researches on cultural practices and beliefs that can enhance the teaching and learning process of EsP topics.