For more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines, our country is rich in “katutubo” o native people who live in mountain high places that has also have right to learn.
Most modern societies are interested in including everyone in the development and growth of their nations. It is no diﬀerent from our country. Many government and private institutions have developed programs to promote education for indigenous people. In fact, some educational organizations have decided on extreme measures to take education to the mountains where indigenous people live. Such extreme plans are based on the discovery that moving indigenous young people to urban settings for schooling has not been too successful. With all the eﬀorts of educating indigenous people, little is still known about the strategies that are eﬀective because a large number of such programs are unsuccessful.
Quite a large body of knowledge has been developed over the past few decades on the challenges and eﬀective ways of educating indigenous people around the world. Most of the studies have been conducted in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia (Baker, 2007; Canadian Council on Learning, n.d.; Capistrano, 2010; Council of Ministers of Education, 2010; oulouse, 2008, March; uharsky, Buisson, Britton, & Enion, 2005). Few studies have been conducted in the Philippines (Capistrano, 2010; Fiagoy, 2000; Licen, Lihtenvalner, & Podgornik, 2012; Mahinay, 1995; Te Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples, n.d.). Many of these studies have focused on the daily lives, rights, cultures of the Filipino indigenous people and their integration in the mainstream society. Very few studies have focused on the education indigenous people.
Many institutions have failed in the education of indigenous people. Some of the causes of the failure in educating indigenous people seem to be similar in studies conducted in diﬀerent countries. Some of the causes include lack of contextualization of the lessons, lack of connection between school and the indigenous community, lack of integration of indigenous cultural values in the classroom, lack of understanding of the way indigenous people learn, and lack of understanding of indigenous people’s needs, lack of vision for their empowerment, lack of understanding of the support system of indigenous learners, among others (Fiagoy, 2000; The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2010). While the intention may be good for both government and non-government organizations and institutions to provide education to indigenous people, lack of this critical knowledge can only lead to failure in their eﬀort. Unfortunately, many innocent learners can often be blamed for their failure. There seems to be no study done on the education of indigenous people that does not quickly discover the failure of the educational system.
The following section presents the themes that synthesized the factors that help the success of theKatutubo (Native people) students that might help our fellow teacher experiencing such challenge in reaching the native learners thru educating them. The ﬁrst two are the themes that were unique to this study. They are not commonly highlighted in other studies.
Long-term planning is not part of their culture, while education heavily relies on long-term investment of time and other resources. Additionally, teen marriages are encouraged in the Katutubo culture, although this is the time when children should be completing their studies. Tis practice leads many to drop from school to begin married life prematurely.