by Jim Paul M. Belgado, Sicsican National High School

The Curriculum Implementation Division (CID) through the Learning Resource Management Section (LRMS) launched the first batch of quality-assured storybooks for Batak and Tagbanua learners during the sign-off ceremony on January 25 at the PPC DepEd’s Library Hub.

In response to the call of DepEd Order No. 62, s. 2011 known as the Adoption of the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education Policy Framework that aims to implement a brand of IP education that subscribes to the rights-based approach which gives importance to the principles of participation, inclusion, and empowerment, the IPEd Program of the Schools Division of Puerto Princesa began the production of locally-developed storybooks that focused on contextualized themes borrowed from the unique culture of Batak and Tagbanua tribes in the City.

The developed learning resources aspire to improve the learning outcomes among IPEd learners while also providing them the quality of education that is culturally appropriate. The said project is also step forward in ensuring that the basic learning needs of IP learners are properly addressed, which is a key measure in achieving the country’s commitment to equitable and inclusive education in line with Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Curriculum Implementation Division Chief Dr. Cyril C. Serador, the IPEd Focal Person and also the Education Program Supervisor (EPS) in Science Dr. Rolando A. Taha, and the EPS-LRMS Manager Ronald S. Brillantes graced the short activity where members of the development team were also awarded with certificates of recognition.

The CID chief commended the efforts of the writers, the illustrators, and the editors and evaluators for coming up with localized materials that can be used not only by learners from IP communities, but as well as all the learners of Puerto Princesa and those of other divisions.

The IPEd focal person said the storybooks integrated aspects of the culture of the Batak and Tagbanua such as their beliefs and practices in order to make the learning resources responsive to their context.

The first set of quality-assured storybooks include the following: “Anihan”, “Kalakwasan”, “Mga Tunog na may Tinig”, and “Yat Akeng Pamilya” which have been written with identified learning competencies to help teachers facilitate their utilization in teaching lessons across different subjects. 35 copies of each storybook were reproduced for a total of 140 copies ready for distribution.

This initiative began on July 26-28, 2021 during Division Workshop/Writeshop on the Contextualized Storybook Intended for Batak and Tagbanua Learners in IPEd implementing Schools at Astoria Palawan attended by teacher-writers and illustrators.

LRMS Manager Ronald Brillantes announced that the next phase in the writing of localized storybooks is providing the translation for the stories, originally written in Filipino, using the dialect of the Batak and the Tagbanua.

In October 2020, the IPEd program of the Division launched the Binatak Ortography which consists of 500 Binatak words, while the Tagbanwa writing-system is yet to be written down.

The said IPEd project works towards producing 16 quality-assured localized and indigenized storybooks.