Publisher says sorry for erroneous books

THE publisher of a Kindergarten textbook titled "Masayang Buhay (Binagong Edisyon)" apologized for erroneous printing of a portion of the book amid backlash from stakeholders.

A portion of the learning module depicts the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of the Cordillera as having dark and curly hair.

In a letter to Mountain Province Representative Maximo Dalog Jr., Ruth Valerie Catabijan, vice-president of St. Matthew's Publishing, said the book in question was published in 2001 and has long been out of print and was withdrawn from circulation.

Catabijan added that subsequent publications of Masayang Buhay (Binagong Edisyon) previously authored by Dr. Felicidad Remo and Avelina Espelita and released in 2004, 2009 and 2016 already contain modifications to the section of the issue being raised.

The book is one of the various learning materials discovered by Igorots themselves. It went viral on social media, instigating anger among IPs in the region, around the country and the whole world.

Earlier, lawmakers from the Cordillera Administrative Region led by Representative Allen Jesse Mangaoang of Kalinga, who also chairs the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples, filed a resolution condemning the erroneous portrayal of

Igorots in textbooks, learning modules and instructional materials.

He directed the Department of Education (DepEd) to make a thorough review of all textbooks, learning modules and instructional materials and to correct any text that depict in a discriminatory manner Igorots and IPs.

The resolution also asked the DepEd to instruct the authors and publishers of these materials to withdraw them from circulation in order to stop the discrimination and misleading information about Igorots.

Mangaoang filed the resolution along with Dalog Jr., Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS Party List and Benguet legislative caretaker, Ifugao Representative Solomon Chungalao and Apayao Representative Elias Bulut Jr.

Baguio City Representative Mark Go also filed House Resolution 1554, "directing the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture and the House Committee on Indigenous Peoples to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation, on the alleged discriminatory and erroneous statements against Igorots in self-learning modules distributed by DepEd."

Go said that over the course of the past few weeks, his office has been receiving messages and comments about the erroneous and discriminatory statements in the self-learning materials of elementary and high school students.

"Education is the most essential aspect that will determine the future of our nation and it is unacceptable that such discriminatory statements are included in the self-learning modules given to students. This will have a negative impact on our society and will gravely compromise the values of our youth. As such, I call on all educators and personnel of the DepEd, responsible for the academic, cultural, social, and moral development of Filipino children, to stand at the forefront of eliminating all forms of discrimination that are against Filipino indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities and must take immediate and appropriate measures to correct the errors contained in the modules," the lawmaker said in a statement. (SunStar Baguio)

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