Zamboanga City, June 29, 2006 – “It is important for us to craft a curriculumfor the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) specifically the Bajaus of this city that is culture-sensitive and responsive to their actual conditions and needs,” this was stressed by WMSU Vice-President for Research, Extension and Development, Dr. Grace J. Rebollos during the 3-day “Workshop on Development of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Core Curriculum for Alternative Learning System (ALS) for the Bajaus of Zamboanga City” held at the Abitona Conference Room, WMSU, from June 27-29, 2006, this city.
“We would like to think that the Bajaus blend together with us, not apart or different from us,” Rebollos added.
She urged the participants to create more opportunities to better the lives of the IPs specifically the Bajaus of this city through education.
The 3-day workshop that ends today was designed to prepare a generic, culture-based and culture-sensitive curriculum for the Bajaus covering the three areas of basic elementary and secondary education and basic functional literacy for adult learners.
The workshop is a partnership between the WMSU and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – Zamboanga City Region IX Sub- Office and DepEd.
Dr. Carlos P. Buasen Jr., Director of the Office of the Education, Culture and Health – NCIP Manila, presented a comprehensive overview on the Alternative Learning System (ALS) for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) that will serve as the basis for the participants in crafting the curriculum for the Bajaus of this city.
In his presentation, Dr. Buasen emphasized that the IPs’ worldview and the context of ancestral domain and its elements must be considered when developing the curriculum for the IPs.
He also reminded the group that the core curriculum developed by the participants will be pilot-tested in the WMSU-Floating School, the first ever in Zamboanga City and in Region IX.
The WMSU Floating School is designed to provide literacy education for Bajau adults and school-age children inhabiting the island and coastal barangayas in this city. The floating school is a project of the WMSU-COPBA (Comprehensive Outreach Program for Barangays).