DepEd urged to correct learning materials

FOLLOWING the uproar on Facebook after a recent post gone viral depicting Igorots in a negative manner, Benguet legislative caretaker Eric Go Yap urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to immediately correct these learning materials.

Yap said although it is not clear whether the materials form part of a textbook, a module or a test sheet, it is an insult and an obvious form of discrimination and a mockery of the rich culture in the Cordillera.

“I strongly condemn these photos circulating online. It is unbelievable that these made its way to the learning modules of our students. Nakakagalit. Nakakadismaya,” Yap said.

Yap added if these learning materials are not immediately corrected, the day will come that heritage and culture in Cordillera will die a natural death because it will be perceived as something that should be ashamed of.

“What message are we sending our students reading these? Okay lang na ma-bully ang bata dahil sa kanyang anyo? Okay lang ma-discriminate dahil sa kasuotan? Sa murang edad ng mga estudyante, ito ang ituturo natin,” Yap said.

The lawmaker also called out DepEd to undertake a massive review of its textbooks and other materials used in schools and urged DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to issue a Department Order instructing teachers nationwide to forbid them from using discriminatory statements such as those shown in photos in preparing their modules.

Yap added this is not the first time that this happened and, at this point, DepEd should take responsibility.

“This is an issue that we will definitely raise in Congress through a House Resolution that I will file and we will summon DepEd officials to shed light on this matter. Not only for this incident but for every inaccuracy and sign of incompetence in our learning materials,” Yap said.

Estela Cariño, DepEd-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) director, called for more involvement from stakeholders to correct wrong depiction of Igorots.

“When a wrong concept keeps repeated, this might be accepted as the truth. That is why need to respond to it right away and for those responsible to correct it immediately,” Cariño said.

As an Igorot herself, Cariño called on the attention of regions and schools division offices using such modules to make the necessary and urgent changes.

The DepEd official added that Cordillerans may contribute to the wrong concept and incorrect depiction of Igorots if they keep silent.

Cariño further called on all education stakeholders to help create awareness on indigenous peoples and to be part of the system that corrects these learning materials. She said they should not bash nor ignore these mistakes and that they should call the attention of the basic education department through its proper channels like the DepEd Error Watch and the official Facebook pages of DepEd.

Anyone can send errors on modules to DepEd through bit.ly/DepEdErrorWatch or by email through errorwatch@deped.gov.ph, text and messaging through Viber at 0961-6805334; Facebook messaging through DepEd Error Watch account and the DepEd Tayo Cordillera page.

Netizens are also encouraged to use hashtag #depederrorwatch when posting complaints on social media sites.

“We are disheartened that these errors circulate nationwide, but we hope our collective efforts will change wrong concepts of indigenous peoples like us especially in areas that Igorots are not the majority,” she added. (Roderick Osis)

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