Empowering Indigenous Peoples through Education

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The right of indigenous peoples (IPs) to education is provided in the Philippine Constitution, in Republic Act 8371, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), of 1997, and the 2007 United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Article XIV of the Constitution mandates the State to recognize, respect, and protect the rights of IPs to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions, and institutions. The IPRA guarantees the rights of IPs to ancestral domain, self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, education and cultural integrity. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples contains provisions on IPs right to education.

In line with the country's commitment to achieve Education For All by 2015 and the Millennium Development Goals, and to pursue the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda, the government is adopting the National Indigenous People Education Policy Framework. Education empowers IPs and helps them claim their rights and exercise self-determination. It provides them with the tool to discover identities, promote traditional knowledge, skills, and cultural heritage, so that they can be assimilated in Philippine society. …