Celebrating indigenous culture. Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Minister Counsellor Titon Mitra (standing 3rd from left, back row) joined the indigenous peoples in Davao City in celebrating Kasamongan Festival at the Institute for Indigenous Peoples Education (IIPE) Centre in Davao City.
Supported by the Philippines-Australia Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) project, the Kasamongan Festival is both a venue and a celebration of the indigenous peoples’ quest for holistic and culture-sensitive education strategies for the indigenous children. “Kasamongan” is an indigenous term for celebration of life, success and triumph and its festivities coincide with the city’s Kadayawan Festival.
BEAM, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other government and NGO partners, established the IIPE to serve as the hub for IP education. Through the IIPE, BEAM and DepEd developed an indigenised curriculum which mainstreams the teaching of indigenous values while adhering to the Basic Education Curriculum learning competencies for Elementary and High School. There are now 71 schools in Regions XI and XII implementing the curriculum.
BEAM is a Php2 billion (A$53.4 million) initiative of the Australian Government through AusAID and implemented in partnership with DepEd. Also at the event were BEAM’s Australian Project Director Dr Ian D’Arcy Walsh and Deputy Director Ramon Bobier.