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Permit to Operate Primary Schools for Indigenous Peoples

June 15, 2004

DepEd Order No. 42, s. 2004



Regional Directors
Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public Elementary Schools

1. Article II, Sec 22 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that “the State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development”.

2. Likewise, Article XIV, Sections 2.4 and 17 of the Constitution states that “the State shall encourage nonformal, informal and indigenous learning systems, as well as selflearning, independent and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs”. “Further, the State shall recognize, respect and protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions and institutions. It shall consider their rights in the formulation of national plans and policies”.

3. In view of the above constitutional mandates, concerned individuals and organizations started organizing primary schools for the Indigenous People to alleviate their plight.

4. These Indigenous People (IP) schools have been encouraged to register with the DepED for mainstreaming in the educational system. However, flexibility in terms of the following requirements is recommended:

a. Curriculum. It should be flexible without undermining the balance between the attainment of the core learning competencies which every Filipino learner should master in the community and the* indigenous culture.

b. Teachers. As much as possible, qualified teachers should teach the core subjects of the curriculum. However, in handling the concerns of the community, e.g. culture, traditions, songs, practices, para-teachers from the place or those who know the culture may be employed. They may not be holders of a degree in education but experienced or trained parents.

c. School Calendar. While cultural/tribal idiosyncrasies are to be observed, the required calendar days of the school year should be adhered to as much as possible.

5. Adults and out-of-school youths, who want to continue their studies may either avail of the Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E)Test or the Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT) to determine their learning status for the former and the grade/year level placement for the latter.

6. Children who finished studies in unrecognized schools but want to continue their studies in the regular schools may submit themselves to a Validating Test (Philippine Validity Test (PVT) to be administered by the National Education, Testing and Research Center (NETRC) to determine their competencies for proper grade placement.

7. It is desired that full assistance of school authorities be extended to this sector and corresponding report of said registration be submitted to the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) for proper documentation.

8. Immediate dissemination of and compliance with this Order is directed.


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