IFSU to train pool of IPED educators

In order to embark on Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED), the Ifugao State University (IFSU), in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) – Ifugao, launched its Ifugao Indigenous Knowledge Educators Training Program (IKETP) on July 12, 2019 at the Ifugao Rice Terraces as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IRT-GIAHS) Center, IFSU-Lamut Campus.

The IKETP is one of the five program components of the Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous and Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies (CTPILS). It aims to build up a core of indigenous knowledge educators from DepEd and IFSU with support of diff erent knowledge holders and experts from the communities and academe. With this, IFSU and DepEd entered into a Memorandum of Agreement as partners in the implementation of the Program.  

“At the end of the program, it is expected that at least 80 educators, knowledge holders and IFSU mentors are capacitated and would have produced 40 instructional materials for indigenous knowledge and sustainable studies,” said Eulalie D. Dulnuan, Director for Research and Development Center for the IRTGIAHS and Project Manager for CTPILS.

The program is divided into two semesters per year that will run for three years. A total of 96 hours is expected to be completed by trainees to cover the course training. The trainees and other participants are scheduled to meet once in a month for two days. Most of the training activities will be conducted at the International Innovation Center for Indigenous Studies, GIAHS Center, IFSU Main Campus, Nayon, Lamut, Ifugao.”

Marlon M. Martin, Chief Operations Officer of the Save Ifugao Terraces Movement Inc. and one of the project’s collaborators, on the other hand, said that the program should emphasize that culture among indigenous peoples is based on ancestral domain (AD) and should not be merely as the geographic territory (land, air and water) of the Ifugaos. It should include all their belief systems, values, custom law and other community practices.  

“The AD is a classroom in itself. IPED will not focus merely on the manifestations or products of culture like dances, songs, and material artifacts but shall prioritize more on its principles, ethics and philosophy. IPED should emphasize on the utility (usefulness, functionality, appropriateness) of culture as a way of moving forward towards development,” added Mr. Martin.

The program is also anchored in the principles of active community participation, inclusivity and empowering learners on their identity and culture. On a wider perspective, the program will be an avenue to bridge and promote intercultural understanding and appreciation; and strengthen the Ifugao positive values, philosophies and practices among learners and educators.

The program is a realization of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between IFSU and National Chengchi University of Taiwan to promote international academic cooperation and exchange of research and experiences with University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Hawaii at Manoa as collaborative partners.

-Judy C. Baggo