By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
For her substantial contribution to Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd), Education Secretary Leonor Briones was recognized by the Council of Elders as an adopted daughter of Kalinga.
According to DepEd-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Regional Information Officer Georaloy Palao-ay, Briones graced the recent launch of the backstrap weaving or “laga” as a specialization under Home Economics in the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track of a Senior High School in the Municipality of Lubuagan.
Briones was given the name “Guinnanayan” which means “tribal queen.” The conferment was witnessed by local government officials led by Kalinga Congressman Allen Jesse Mangaoang and Governor Jocel Baac, together with Undersecretary for Field Operations and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Revsee Escobedo and DepEd CAR Director May Eclar.
“We should tell more Filipinos about the people of the Cordilleras because despite the early influences of missionaries like the Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, and Episcopalians, the people here fiercely retained their culture, history, and traditions,” Briones said.
Integration to K to 12
Meanwhile, Briones expressed support to the integration of the traditional backstrap weaving of the indigenous peoples the Province of Kalinga into the K to 12 curriculum.
Palao-ay said that Lubuagan – which is 47 kms from the capital town of Tabuk – is known for its Laga Festival that “pays tribute to women-weavers and its weaving industry. He added that the Inclusion of the specialization “further strengthens” the IPEd curriculum in the Cordillera region and “ensures the sustainability of the weaving technique, a cultural practice passed on from one generation to another.”
Through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among DepEd Kalinga, Kalinga State University, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) -Kalinga, Palao-ay said that a “student is guaranteed an appropriate training certificate at the end of grade 12, and Work Immersion Program with the Local Government of Lubuagan which involves hands-on experience or work simulation by learners.”
“Advancements in the specialization shall also be provided by consultants or experts in the knowledge and skills essential in the development of backstrap weaving design, learning resource production, training designs, and other necessary developments in the course from the Kalinga State University,” Palao-ay explained.
Palao-ay also noted that due to the municipality’s distance from the capital town, “learners and teachers from Lubuagan met with the DepEd Secretary in Tabuk City for the official launching.”
The CAR continues to provide the impetus in the implementation of IPEd in the country owing to the support of its councils of elders from its provinces and cities.
DepEd CAR is currently fulfilling its programs, projects, and activities underscored in their IPEd Roadmap which covers 2016 to 2021.