Bukidnon Lumads eye ‘IP university’

MARAMAG, Bukidnon (MindaNews/7 Sept) – The Bukidnon Indigenous Peoples Educators Network is aspiring to put up an indigenous people’s university to focus on an IP-centered curriculum.

Datu Magdaleno “Mayda” Pandian, the mandatory IP representative to the provincial board, told MindaNews via telephone Thursday that the present setup with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education missed on the IP curriculum.


“It is hard to change that setup already, so our option is to propose to create a separate university where [our curriculum] can be integrated,” he said.


He said the network is still in an exploratory stage to “deepen discussions” on the proposed university. He said they have tried to reach all schools and other institutions in the province offering IP education.

Pandian, himself president of the Mindanao Tribal School Inc. in Brgy. Panadtalan, this town, said they will start at the level of the existing institutions.

The group, he added, will meet with other stakeholders in a gathering at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) next week.


Bae Alma Binayao of the Manobo Talaandig tribe of Maramag said the IPs have become a common research area for universities.


“We are the rightful preservers and repository of these knowledge, if we have our own university,” she added.


She said other sectors feed on the Lumad’s indigenous knowledge, system and practices (IKSP) and yet they make erroneous researches.


One of the initial choice of site for the proposed university is the previous location of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) in Nasuli, Malaybalay City.


Bu she noted that there is still a lot to explore about the institutional requirements to set up the university. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)