Baguio council deplores “Demeaning” descriptions of Igorots

The Baguio City Council has censured the circulation of learning modules containing statements that are perceived as demeaning to Cordillerans.

In their approved resolution, the council members are calling on the Department of Education (DepEd) to retrieve these modules for rectification.

Pictures of these worksheets containing “inapropriate” statements about Cordillerans have made the rounds on social media and have earned criticism in the whole region.

In one worksheet, a true-or-false question reads, “Hindi ako makikipaglaro sa aking kaklas[e] na igorot dahil iba ang kanyang pananamit (I will not play with my classmate who is an ‘igorot’ because of their odd outfit).”

In another worksheet, one situation statement reads, “Nakita mong tinutukso ng kaklase mo ang isang batang igorot dahil sa kanyang anyo (You saw your classmate teasing an igorot child because of their looks).”

Another worksheet asks, “Kabaelan kadi ti igorot ti makatorpos ti adal na (Does an igorot have what it takes to finish their degree)?”

The council calls these learning materials “distasteful” as they depict igorots as inferior in character and in physical characteristics.

According to the resolution, the emergence and circulation of these materials with objectionable contents perpetuates stereotypes about Cordillerans.

“The contents of these modules are purely baseless and unvalidated and not even considered as the general characteristics of Igorots,” the resolution states.

The resolution also mentions a module that was likewise criticized for mislabeling the people in Ifugao as aetas.

These erroneous learning materials, when unchecked, will continue to misinform the Filipino youth about Cordillerans, the council says.

The city council is further calling on the other local government units in the region to express the same sentiments to DepEd.

Earlier, DepEd-CAR Director Estela L. Cariño urged the school division offices to take immediate action in making the necessary changes.

“This may be accepted as a truth that is why there is a need to respond to it right away,” Cariño said.

In a Facebook post, DepEd-CAR announced that the source of one of the materials was traced, and the copies were retrieved for the necessary revision.

“DepEd-CAR remains steadfast in its stand to rally against any form of prejudice,” the post reads. -Jordan G. Habbiling