BAGUIO CITY, Aug 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) in the region clarified that the erroneous information about the Cordillera Region and indigenous peoples in elementary textbooks did not pass through the department’s prescribed quality evaluation process.
DepEd Program Supervisor and Learning Resource Manager Ethielyn Taqued, during the 3rd quarter meeting of Regional Development Council-Committee on Indigenous People’s Concerns (RDC-CIPC), explained that the elementary textbooks containing erroneous information were published by private companies which include REX Bookstore, Phoenix Publishing House and Saint Mathews Publishing Corporation.
Some of the erroneous information include,”Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan sa Ifugao na makikita sa Rehiyon ng Ilocos…” and “Ako ay si Dang, sa Baguio ako ipinanganak. Ako ay Igorot”.
The Ifugao rice terraces are found in the province of Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region and not Ilocos Region, and ethnicity is traced to roots and blood line, and not by place of birth, Taqued said.
Taqued explained that DepEd does not have control over private publishers that sell textbooks and supplementary learning resources to the field which contain culturally insensitive information. Publishers publish the learning resources at their own will without consultation and these are not supported by DepEd.
She informed that the DepEd through the Bureau of Learning Resources has established mechanisms and processes to Quality Assurance (QA) learning resources that the education department issues to the field.
In order for textbooks to be endorsed by DepED, they should pass through their evaluation and assessment process.
“The textbooks which passed the DepEd’s evaluation process shall contain the following distinguishing marks: it should be supported by DepEd Mark in front, back and spine; presence of DepEd Copyright Page and the existence of NOT FOR SALE mark,” said Taqued.
As a DepEd policy, materials that are produced by DepEd are distributed free of charge to the division for schools use and they are not for sale.
“We do not allow DepEd personnel to author any Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices, the author should belong to the Indigenous Cultural Communities and not from DepEd,” she added.
Non-DepEd books are those books that carry insensitive information about Cordillera, do not carry the DepEd official mark, absence of NOT for SALE mark, and Copyright does not contain names of DepEd authorities, she further clarified.
The RDC-CIPC through its chairperson, NCIP regional Director lawyer Ronald Calde, agreed to come up with a resolution condemning the act and ask Congress to rectify these.
Concerned IPs have posted in social media the erroneous information about the Cordillera and IPs which drew flak from IPs throughout the region, prompting the RDC-CIPC to act on the issue. Maria Aprila W. Cruz (JDP/MAWC - PIA CAR)