BAGUIO CITY – More funds are being sought for the education of indigenous peoples (IPs) and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. has vowed to link closely with the Department of Education (DepEd) in the next Congress to improve access to education of the less privileged.
“I am sure that many of these children who are unable to go to school are IPs and PWDs, the most left behind and marginalized sectors in our society,” he said.
The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on national cultural communities said he wants to convince DepEd to bring more teachers and build more schools in the forests of Sierra Madre where the Dumagat people live and the small islands of Palawan where the Mamanwa reside.
“Also, when Secretary Luistro signed the IP education framework, among the thrusts was to craft a curriculum that would be appropriate to the cultural practices, traditions and innate knowledge of the IPs,” he said.
“I hope that they are doing that. At the same time, I want to help make sure that the DepEd budget for 2014 will ensure additional funds for classrooms and teachers for IPs,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat said that he plans to file a bill to revive national scholarship programs for IPs and to require state universities to devote at least 10 percent of their scholarship funds for IPs.
“The University of the Philippines, for example, should have more IP students,” he said.
“But sadly, its socialized tuition fee scheme that allows poorer students to avoid paying any tuition makes it hard for IPs to cope with the requirements. There are just too many documents being asked of them.”