Print learning resources for indigenous people learners developed

City of San Fernando, Pampanga—The Department of Education Regional Office III has completed the validation and quality assurance of the working orthographies and alphabet primers for indigenous peoples’ languages.

This accomplishment of the DepEd Regional Office III is a fitting and timely manner to celebrate the National Indigenous Peoples Month this October pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1906, s.2009 entitled “Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as National Indigenous Peoples Month”.

The said learning resources are aimed at helping bridge the emerging gap in the implementation of the Mother-Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) among indigenous people (IP) learners for the various indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in Region III.

“Developing orthographies and alphabet primers takes continuous engagement, cultural sensitivity and protocols with ICCs.  Region-III ICCs have a deep-rooted oral literacy but have no developed print literacy,” said Arnold Montemayor, the Regional Focal Person for IPED.

All the eleven identified IP languages with ancestral lands in Central Luzon have no written orthographies. For the development of orthographies, DepEd Region III, in consultation with the indigenous cultural communities, nine IP languages were prioritized for the development of orthographies and alphabet primers. These include Ayta Magbukun, Ayta Ambala, Ayta Mag-indi, Ayta Mag-antsi, Ayta Abellen, Sambal Botolan, Agta Casiguran, Dumagét Bulos and Dumagét Kabulloan.

Montemayor added that each ICCs’ oral literacy is distinct from other IP ethnicities.

“Literacy among the indigenous peoples is “reading” about the relationship in the context of their ancestral domain. Given the situation of many ICCs, many of the IP elders have no print literacy knowledge,” he stressed.

The development of orthographies and alphabet primers, which included a writeshop, validation and field testing took almost four years. These learning resources, after being subjected to the cultural standards of the concerned ICCs, were reviewed during the Regional Quality Assurance of Indigenous Peoples Languages for Indigenous Peoples Education on September 15-21, 2019 at NEAP Region-III, Pulungbulu, Angeles City.

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