THE third grade in the K-12 curriculum is the best time to instill the values and culture of indigenous peoples.
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commissioner Zenaida Hamada-Pawid stressed this point during a recent conference at the University of the Philippines-Baguio.
The third grade "is where the best teachers should be," Pawid said.
Under K-12, the regional or native language of the learners will be the mode of instruction in Grades 1 to 3.
From Grades 4 to Grade 6, instruction will be in Filipino or English, depending on the subject.
Pawid said Grades 1 to 3 teachers "should not only know the language, they themselves should be speakers of the language, and if possible native speakers."
According to her, many people claim to have indigenous roots but cannot speak their mother tongue.
Pawid said she hopes the youth will not only be good speakers in their mother tongue but will also learn the culture and traditions of their IP roots.