|NIKE Project helps IfSU fulfill role as an institution for IPs|
|Thursday, 25 February 2010 00:00|
Pilot testing. IfSU Political Science students visit the Ifugao native house model during their lecture session on Indigenous Native House Construction.
Nayon, Lamut – Finally, the Ifugao State University (IfSU) has completely fulfilled its role as an institution for Indigenous Peoples primarily with the offering of the Master of Multi-Lingual Studies for Ifugao teachers and the implementation of the project Nurturing Indigenous Knowledge Experts (NIKE) Among the Young Generation of Ifugao for the transmission of indigenous knowledge, skills, and practices (IKSPs) toward the preservation of Ifugao cultural heritage.
With the goal to make IfSU the leading IP institution for cultural heritage development in the region, IfSU officialdom, through the dynamic leadership of University President Serafin L. Ngohayon, accepted the challenge to implement the NIKE project which aims to institutionalize the IKSPs of the Ifugaos in the formal and non-formal education systems in the province. This is in fulfillment of its mandate under Republic Act 9720, section 2: to provide advance instruction and professional training… in indigenous knowledge, among other relevant fields of study like law, arts and sciences, public administration, information technology, accountancy, business and industry, agriculture and forestry, engineering, etc.
Practicum on Indigenous Stone Works. This B.S. Nursing student tries to interlock the stones in application of the principles of Indigenous Stone Works.
The NIKE project implementation in IfSU works mainly on the integration of IKSPs in the university’s tertiary education system through the development of indigenized curricula and instructional materials for indigenous knowledge transfer to the students. This complements and supports the program on Master of Multi-Lingual Studies which aims to train Ifugao teachers in localizing their teaching concepts, modules, and materials to meet global academic standard.
In its annual accomplishment report, IfSU recognizes the need and importance to reach out and work collaboratively with local, national and global communities to bring forth development and progress in the university. Accordingly, development approaches should focus on connecting with government and non-government organizations, as well as, with private and international entities to help pursue and sustain the university’s mandate on extension services – economic, social, environmental, and agricultural development, among others – all geared at improving and promoting quality life for the Ifugao communities.
It is in this context that the NIKE project has been pursued under IfSU’s Extension Program to help strengthen the university’s extension services and bolster its capability to achieve academic excellence and quality education as it pursues for global competence. The impact of this project can be seen in its significant contribution in the successful metamorphosis of this institution from a State College into a State University on October 13, 2009 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed RA 9720 converting ISCAF into a State University, also known as “An Act Converting The Ifugao State College Of Agriculture And Forestry in The Municipality Of Lamut And All Its Existing Extension Campuses Located In The Province Of Ifugao Into A State University To Be Known As The Ifugao State University And Appropriating Funds Therefor.” Moreover, in the complete fulfillment of its role as an institution for IPs in 2008 which helped it become a State University.
Academic Freedom and Institutional Autonomy
With the upgrading of IfSU into a State University come additional advantages, like the latitude to create additional and new programs, and upgrade teaching methods, modules, and materials, facilities and equipment to cater to the needs of the Ifugao community to meet present demands and equip its students with knowledge and skills of global competence.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo re-enacts the signing into law of RA 9720 that converted the Ifugao State College of Agriculture and Forestry into the Ifugao State University (IfSU) during the launching ceremonies at the IfSU Gymnasium in Lamut, Nayon, Ifugao as lone District Rep. Solomon R. Chungalao, Gov. Teddy Baguilat Jr., and other local officials look on.
According to IfSU’s Information and Management Director Ms. Eva Codamon-Dugyon, and Information Officers Ms. Jill Saquing and Mr. Jeremy Gawangna, having been transformed into a university system, IfSU has now been granted common academic policies and administrative structures without restriction of academic freedom and institutional mandates which can be used to the greatest advantage. They said that with the level III accreditation status, IfSU can now enjoy full administrative and financial deregulation, full curricular deregulation, and the authority to offer new courses allied to existing level III courses without the need for prior approval of CHED, however, it must meet its criteria or standard.
“Following the launching of its university status will surely be a series of planning-workshops, although there’s already a plan. Each college is given the leeway to come up with their own development programs needed by the college,” College of Education Dean Victoria Dulinayan said when asked during a casual conversation about the plans of IfSU on the creation of new curricula now that it’s a university.
Being the case, the NIKE Instructional Materials are being pilot tested to selected student-clienteles by identified NIKE teachers to determine whether the IKSPs will be developed as topics to be integrated in related subjects, or as a course to be incorporated in the degree program curricula. The pilot-testing of the IK Instructional Materials is expected to be finished on March 2010. Results of the pilot-testing will be the basis of the institution for the official integration of the IK curricula into IfSU’s tertiary education system, and for future plans that would meet the needs of the province and the Cordillera Region, particularly toward the preservation of Ifugao’s best cultural practices that are environment-friendly, doable, and worth emulating.
NIKE Project Implementation
The NIKE project, with funding from the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ), was first implemented in 2006 and 2007 by the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), a non-government organization based in Kiangan, Ifugao for the realization of phases 1 and 2, respectively. IfSU, then Ifugao State College of Agriculture and Forestry (ISCAF), was tapped during the phase 2 of the project for the transfer of IKSPs by identified IK Holders to a group of selected professionals and students who formed the cadre of young IK holders.
As the initiatives in the previous phases are being developed and mainstreamed as a programme, the coordination of Phase 3 had been lodged under the Provincial Government. It is now being implemented by a consortium of government and non-government agencies, namely: NCIP, DEP-ED, IfSU, and SITMo. The government agencies are tasked to institutionalize IK in the formal education systems through IK curricula development in the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, and establishment of database or information management system in the province. SITMo, on the other hand, is responsible for the IK integration in the non-formal education system through establishment and revival of Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in the barangays, primarily in the heritage areas.
- by: Marlyn Bartina and Cecilia Gullitiw