MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) has recalled the distribution of a locally-developed learning material that “wrongly depicted” Igorots.
In a statement Tuesday, the department said its internal investigation showed that the learning material’s draft document was still undergoing quality assurance procedures but was “mistakenly reproduced in good faith by some school personnel”.
Last week, Mountain Province Representative Maximo Dalog Jr. wrote to Education Secretary Leonor Briones about the “offensive portrayal of Igorots” in books and modules used by learners in Nueva Vizcaya.
The discriminatory remarks were posted on social media platforms with the #Proud To Be Igorot Challenge and have gone trending as Igorots responded by uploading pictures of them in their traditional clothing.
The DepEd reiterated that it does not tolerate discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation because it mandates to protect and promote quality, equitable, culture-based, and complete basic education.
To uphold a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination, the DepEd has released various issuances and conducted series of training guided by international and national frameworks on equality.
The agency also assured the public of its commitment to eliminate discriminatory practices in schools and offices, citing that mechanisms are already in place within the department to police such acts.
“Nonetheless, we believe that this issue is not DepEd’s duty to advocate alone. We will need the help and support of our other government institutions, local government units, media, sectoral leaders, community members, parents, and other stakeholders to create a safer, more respectful environment for our children,” it said. (PNA)