The afternoon program of the Third EDUKussion: A Forum on Education-related issues, Challenges, and Opportunities, tackled policies, programs, and innovations for educational transformation and their implications on the teaching profession, and the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd). The forum was attended by 75 teachers from the Department of Education (DepEd) Bay and Los Banos Districts. It was held on December 8 2017 in CCDL UP Open University, Los Banos.

Forum topics were: Policies, Programs, and Innovations for Educational Transformation: Implications for the Teaching Profession discussed by Honorable Antonio L. Tinio,; and Katutubong Edukasyon: Isang Karapatang Pantao with Dr. Ma. Theresa De Villa, Ms. Maria Lourie Victor (IPSEO, Dep-Ed), and Ms. Nemia Gareza (ECIP, CBCP).

Asst. Prof. Marie-Sol P. Hidalgo (left), master of ceremony for the afternoon program, introduces Hon. Antonio L. Tinio (right).

Honorable Antonio L. Tinio, representative of the ACT Teachers Party List, and member of the Philippine House of Representatives discussed the policies, programs, and innovations for educational transformation and their implications to the teaching profession. He also gave emphasis on some of the most common challenges teachers face such as their salaries, promotion, and accreditation. Hon. Tinio also encouraged teachers to fight for their job security, and decent salaries.

The other topic of the forum was about the indigenous peoples’ education presented by Dr. Ma. Theresa De Villa, Ms. Maria Lourie Victor, and Ms. Nemia Gareza. In their discussion, Ms. Victor narrated the community initiatives in the development of Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd). She also discussed the concrete actions implemented by DepEd to reach out and help the communities in building a culture-based education. These initiatives led to the crafting of the DepEd Order No. 62, Adopting the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education Policy Framework.

(From left) Dr. Ma. Theresa L. De Villa, former Dean of the Faculty of Education of UP Open University, Ms. Nemia Gareza, from the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Ms. Maria Lourie Victor, from the Indigenous Peoples Education Office of DepEd, during the discussion on IPEd.

Dr. De Villa further discussed the importance of IPEd in the IP’s already existing education system, developed according to their needs and their identity as a people. Her explanation supported one of the DepEd Order No. 62 policies, which states that the IPEd curriculum shall have a culture-based and culturally-appropriate learning resources. She believes that “IPEd curriculum is holistic,” and their classroom is the whole ancestral domain.

Ms. Gareza shared an anecdote about the struggles of communities in developing the IPEd program. She asserts that IPEd is not only about the rights of the IPs, but also an issue of maintaining their dignities as humans.

The 3rd EDUKussion Forum ended with Dr. Bagarinao’s message of gratitude and appreciation to the guest speakers, the UPOU faculties and staff, and the participants who contributed to the success of the forum.

(From left) Dean Bagarinao, with Dr. Jean Saludadez (Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration), Dr. Melinda Lumanta (Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs), awarding the certificates and tokens of appreciation to the speakers.