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PIA Press Release

Literacy sessions capacitate indigenous people of Iloilo town

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (14 August) -- The basics of reading, writing and simple calculations were the contents of the literacy sessions conducted for sixty-one members of Indigenous People in Calinog, Iloilo through the DepEd's Alternative Learning System.

Information Officer Alma Jornadal of DSWD 6 said that the Indigenous People are Panay Bukidnon-Saludnon tribe.

Six para-teachers who conducted classes in the seven sitios of Brgy. Toyungan in Calinog were trained by the DepEd. Toyungan is one of the 13 IP barangays in Calinog with a total population of 1,744 (based on 2006 survey). The barangay is home to both IP and non-IPs. The tumandoks (natives) reside at the outer portion of the village while low-lying sitios (Paradahan and Brgy. Proper) are dominated by non-IPs. Toyungan is divided into seven sitios that are widely dispersed along undulating hills connected only by foot trails. During rainy season, most of these sitios are inaccessible.

Nilo Diergos of the Alternative Learning System said that most of the elder tumandoks went as far as grade two only. The inaccessibility of the sitios was one of the reasons why most people in Toyungan did not finish elementary grade..

"This is one way of showing my 10 children that no one is too old to learn… that age does not matter if you want to learn," said Abelardo who completed the sessions with his wife Vilma, 47, and was even awarded Best in Math.

Like Abelardo, 67-year-old Amalia Loberisa, only finished grade two. When she heard about the literacy program, she readily joined. It was an opportunity she dare not miss, she said. It came as no surprise that during the completion rites, she was named Most Diligent. Other awardees for the Most Diligent citation include Inosencia Latumbo, Purificacion Leysa, Victoria Lobaton, Estela Lozada and Jeffrey Celeste. Named Best in Writing were Lily Nobleza, Manuelita Acse, Jennifer Latoza, Mercedita Leysa, Bernardita Lozada, Estela Lozada, Adelfa Cordon, Rosemarie Casiple and Ana Grace Cataluna.Best in Reading were Gemma Plohinog, Jonalyn Aron, Antonio Lozada, Ana Carisma, Inosencia Latumbo, Cleofas Lozada, Estela Lozada and Junith Casiple. While Best in Math include Lena Plohinog, Gemma Plohinog, Abelardo Casiple, Ana Carisma, Violeta Leysa, Mercedita Leysa, Estela Lozada and Rogelio Cordon.

Aside from basic literacy, learners were also taught social and moral values, the DSWD information officer disclosed.(PIA) [top]

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