ADZU turns over 1st IP School in ZC to DepEd
The Center for Community Extension Services (CCES) with the Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI) formally turned over the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) school for Subanon children in Sitio Monte Central, Patalon, to the community and to the Department of Education (DepEd) on November 16, 2015 at the Jose Ma Rosario Hall.
The turnover rites, sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), bring together the various efforts of IPED stakeholders in upholding IP rights for education, ensuring that it is relevant, inclusive and rooted in the Subanon culture. It also puts on paper the mechanism in sustaining the Monte Central Indigenous Peoples Elementary School (MIPES).
Signatories in the MOA include city mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar who also sits as co-chair of the city local school board; Timu’oy Abelardo T. Sanggadan of the Labuan Patalon Limpapa Indigenous Cultural Communities (LPLICC); Dr. Rosalio Conturno representing the city school division; Jose J. Suan, director of ZC Special Economic Zone Authority (ZAMBOECOZONE); and Fr. Karel S. San Juan, SJ, AdZU president.
Also present during the turnover who signed as witnesses were Representative Celso L. Lobregat of District 1 who also sits with the ZAMBOECOZONE board of director; Rozano E. Rufino, coordinator of the DepEd Indigenous Peoples Education Office; Benjamin D. Abadiano, president of the ADFI; and Woy Lim P. Wong, NCIP-IX director.
Climaco, in her speech, posed a challenge to IPED stakeholders, stating that “ohala este programa hende esta na papel , debe esta cometido y implementa asegun”. Rufino, in his message, stressed the need to sustain MIPES, citing Order 62 or IP Education which mandates DepEd to carry out this order. Fr. San Juan, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude to the ADFI for the partnership and reiterated AdZU’s commitment to continue to journey with the IPs in upholding their rights, stating that education is only one of the issues confronting the IPs.
The IPED program aims to provide education to empower IPs to claim, exercise and protect their rights according to their culture, by: providing access to formal education; enhancing awareness and appreciation of indigenous knowledge, systems and practices; advancing competence of IP leaders in managing IP education systems; and setting up sustainability mechanisms.
The school was formally founded in June 2011, offering kinder and grade 1 classes to 69 pupils. Today, the school is run by a teacher in-charge and two teachers under DepEd with 147 Subanon pupils.