Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, together with Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., hailed the T’boli community and DepEd Region XII officials to the opening of the T’boli Senior High School in Lake Sebu National High School, Surallah, South Cotabato last May 19.
DepEd Secretary Luistro expressed his gratitude to the T’boli community of Lake Sebu, as well as the Ateneo de Davao University, for participating in the creation and implementation of a culture-specific curriculum for the senior high school program.
“It’s the first of its kind,” Luistro said. “It is an educational system that would hopefully be a template for our institutions when we become totally culturally-sensitive and recognize that indigenous knowledge and cultures of old are the very foundations of real education.”
“We have come as researchers, as educators, to help build a program that will [not only] be truly national, truly Filipino, but also truly T’boli,” Fr. Tabora said. He emphasized the importance of having a program that will not make the students foreigners of their own tribe, but rather make them imbibed with values and cultural traditions of their tribe even in a global age.
Among the stakeholders present was the Ateneo de Davao University School of Education, led by Eufemia Faller, who was the project manager of the curriculum of the senior high school.
The said curriculum emphasized the Sustainable Community Resource Management, and focused on technical-vocational studies which will focus on Agriculture and Ecotourism.
On June 1, the T’boli Senior High School will welcome its 50 students, and begin class with their first-in-the-country curriculum.