Latest Stories

As Cordillera pupils graduate, DepEd makes schools, teachers IP-friendly

LAMTANG Elementary School in Benguet was ravaged by rain dumped in 2009 by Typhoon “Pepeng,” leaving it perched precariously on a cliff. Government engineers quickly repaired the site to protect the school, while education officials plan to relocate the facility. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BAGUIO CITY—On the week when some of their elementary and high school students graduated, teachers buckled down to design schools for upland communities that suffer erosions due to extreme weather and recruit teachers who are more inclined to adapt to Cordillera culture.

Ellen Donato, Cordillera director of the Department of Education (DepEd), asked budget officials on Thursday to relax the rules governing classroom construction and budgetary allocations for indigenous peoples (IP) so the agency could build facilities suited to a mountain terrain and that could withstand typhoons and earthquakes.

The standards imposed by the government for classrooms require the DepEd to secure flatlands in a generally upland terrain and some of these are not equipped to survive severe typhoons, Donato said.

Government standards also control the amount of resources allocated to the Cordillera, which has a smaller classroom population compared to its lowland counterparts, Liza Fangsilat, Cordillera director of the Department of Budget and Management, told a recent regional development council (RDC) meeting.

This means that the Cordillera still gets a smaller share from the general appropriations given to the DepEd for hiring teachers and building classrooms, she said.

Donato said the Cordillera initiative is aimed at improving the region’s K to 12 program, the new basic education system that requires students to start in kindergarten until Grade 7 in elementary and undertake five years of high school work.

She said present policies do not address situations where the long distance required for a 5-year-old boy to cross a mountain to reach a school would discourage his family from enrolling him in kindergarten or grade school.

Marieta Paragas, an RDC member, said the DepEd could use community day care centers for kindergarten classes. Donato said this strategy is feasible and community elders could also be tapped as para-teachers to tutor the children.

She said elders could also help train kindergarten children in the community’s mother tongue, which teachers are now required to use in training elementary school pupils.

The terrain is also a factor for a pupil’s ability to finish elementary or high school in upland communities, Donato said.

According to the DepEd, the agency tried to increase the targeted completion rate of enrolled grade school pupils from 69.32 percent in school year 2011-2012 to 72.62 percent in school year 2012-2013. The agency has targeted a completion rate of 75.92 percent for school year 2013-2014.

The solution is to build more schools, she said, but the DepEd Cordillera office has proposed the use of alternative facilities that encourage open-air class sessions.

The other solution is to adopt a multigrade classroom system, Donato said. “Many people don’t see the value of multigrade lessons, which allow the older pupils to become mentors to the younger ones,” she said.

This program has compelled the Cordillera office to evaluate its teaching work force. For an IP-dominated school population, Donato said the region needs more IP-adaptive teachers.

For school year 2012-2013, the Cordillera employed 310 public elementary and high school teachers, 80 percent of whom are natives of upland provinces, according to the DepEd.

Donato said the agency deployed 896 teachers for school year 2013-2014 and may need 2,663 teachers for school year 2014-2015.  Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cordillera , Education , environment , News

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace