GSC IP learners and schools receive education support
Three hundred Blaan learners in 11 Indigenous Peoples (IP) schools in General Santos City received education support through a special IP-literacy project, the Flalok Project, implemented by the Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI) with special funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
These schools are Tanda IP School, Tbag IP School, Klolang Elementary School, Banwala Elementary School, Fataldaw IP School, Daan Banwang Elementary School, Sansapan IP School, Aspang Elementary School, Dangan IP School, Balnabo IP School, and Bagong Silang Elementary School.
Through the Flalok Project, 72 Flalok Big Books were produced containing authentic Blaan stories gathered from Blaan elders and leaders. These Big Books are being used in Flalok classes of the beneficiary-schools supplemented with teacher’s guides and learner materials.
Flalok classes were conceptualized following the Mother Tongue-Based MultiLingual Education (MTB-MLE) paradigm of the Department of Education (DepEd). These classes give Blaan learners a strong educational foundation in the first language and at the same time as medium of instruction.
“Flalok storytelling has made an impact in the participation of children in their classes. Together we have also raised awareness about the importance of preserving the Blaan culture and of respecting the unique culture of every ethnic group here in Mindanano as well as the country,” said USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II in the project’s exit conference.
GSC Mayor Hon. Ronel C. Rivera seconded the notion of Hardy.
“Flalok Project is a manifestation of collective effort in creating awareness of the Blaan storytelling as a strong foundation in literacy and building cultural identity and destiny. It is my conviction that educating our younger generation is the best way to sustain all our development efforts. Investing in education including alternative ways in education will reap a generation that would take care of our future and become responsible citizens,” the local chief executive said.
The Local Government Unit (LGU) – GSC through the Sangguniang Panlungsod committed Php300, 000.00 for the printing of additional copies of Big Books. (CPIO/Pido/RSC)