Issue of October 7, 2018
Mt. Province

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Action vs textbooks on Igorots up to CAR leaders – DepEd Usec
by Jane B. Cadalig

BANAUE, Ifugao – The Department of Education is leaving it up to the Cordillera leaders and stakeholders to initiate moves to correct the erroneous book entries about the indigenous peoples of the region.

DepEd Usec. Alain Del Pascua said he respects whatever moves the Cordillera Regional Development Council will institute to correct the inaccurate information about the Igorots that were published in textbooks used by private elementary schools.

“It’s discretionary upon the RDC to institute moves that they would see as proper to preserve the culture and accuracy of information (about the indigenous peoples of the region),” Pascua said.

Pascua was in Banaue on Oct. 4 as the guest of honor of a national teacher convention, in which he also graced the 2018 Teacher’s Day and Division Indigenous Peoples Education Congress in Lagawe on Oct. 5.

RDC-Cordillera earlier asked the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to inform the authors of books that contained erroneous entries, such as the ”Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan sa Ifugao na makikita sa rehiyon ng Ilocos,” and “Ako ay si Dang, sa Baguio ako ipinanganak. Ako ay Igorot.”

Pascua said after the passage of the Book Publishing Development Act, DepEd has no control over the content and the printing of books.

“When the law was passed, the contents of the books and printing were given to the private sector. The State has abdicated its right to produce its own books,” he said.

He added the administration saw this flaw in the law, especially with the series of erroneous entries in the books used in private schools.

“We want to review this because we want to come up with a policy na dapat lahat ng materials na gagamitin ng public and private schools basta basic education, dapat dumaan sa Deped to avoid these kinds of mistakes because it is DepEd that’s being blamed whenever errors in textbooks occur,” he said.

Pascua said there are procedures that are being followed before books used in private schools are published but in the process, problem arise, especially when the book author does not want his work to undergo massive corrections.

“There are procedures. They are being followed but there is the so-called author’s discretion. Kung minsan, ayaw nilang ipagalaw ang gawa nila,”he said.

He said in the case of public schools, the reference materials and textbooks undergo tedious review.

Pascua supervises the DepEd Administrative Service, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, the Information and Communications Technology Service, the Education Facilities Division/ School Building Program, and the Youth Formation Division.

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