Community Engagement in the Indigenous Education Discourse: Unravelling Policy Lessons from Lumad’s Alternative School in Mindanao, Philippines
Keywords:Community engagement, Culture, Development, Education, Indigenous people
Indigenous people (IP) education has confronted inequality, cultural discrimination, and misrepresentation of indigenous knowledge that has furthered the systemic oppression of these marginalized sectors. However, the case of Lumad alternative schools in Mindanao, Philippines, offers a unique approach by utilizing community engagement in IP education that embodies collective and participatory principles in fostering community voices in addressing critical problems. Utilizing a case study, we have considered key informant interviews using an unstructured guide question with four purposively selected informants from the alternative schools. Also, the study used secondary data from academic journals, news articles, government publications, and non-government reports and briefs. Narrative analysis for interviews and thematic analysis for secondary sources were instrumental in data analysis. We have argued that the community engagement element of the Lumad alternative schools is essential to community-led IP education that is responsive towards innovatively addressing problems and in the preservation of IP culture. It is presented that the cultural discrimination, inequalities, and oppression that undermines a genuine IP education can be traced back to the Philippines’ colonial and imperial past that significantly contributes to the enduring challenges that these alternative schools still face. Further, the study delineates policy gaps that state and non-state actors attached to IP education and Lumad alternative schools may consider.
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