The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading an ordinance institutionalizing the School of Living Tradition (SLT) learning as part of the revitalization of indigenous cultural heritage for students in the different schools in the city.
Under the said ordinance, the School of Living Tradition aims as an avenue for the students in the various educational institutions both public and private to learn and practice the Cordillera indigenous peoples cultural heritage, including history, songs, chants, dances, life ways, among others; for the learners to present what they have learned in various venues, including festivities, activities and the like which are sponsored by the city or their institutions that would help public awareness of the indigenous practices; to develop adherence to the cultural sensitivity of these practices that are learned and practiced in the said school; to encourage teachers, staff, students and even their parents in the basic education to conduct researches, documentation and studies to further the knowledge, skills, and better appreciation of the said practices under the school; to encourage interaction of students and schools with the community villages, elders, learners, bearers for the appreciation of indigenous cultural heritage for their advocacy and to seek support, including funding, from various offices, agencies, groups and individuals to sustain the programs on School of Living Tradition by these educational institutions.
The SLT will cover cultural heritage, including dances, chants, songs, and the like, materials and instruments used therein and that the said practices can be shared and learned by the students except ritual-related activities, materials and instruments in relation to death, sickness and pandemic which are exclusively for the exercise of the elders, bearers and practitioners.
The ordinance will cover learners of the SLT in the various levels of learning public and private institutions.
The ordinance disclosed that any ordinance under the SLT shall foremost hold tight and observe sensitivity to the cultural practices covered by the SLT and those concerned shall always seek the advises of the elders, practitioners and villagers considered to be knowledgeable or bearer of knowledge to the said practices.
In case of sensitive cultural practices needing the free, prior and informed consent of concerned indigenous peoples, the students or their advisers, in cases of those in the basic educational institutions, shall seek the approval of the concerned indigenous group or groups as mandated by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
The ordinance stated that consultations to the concerned elders or stakeholders shall always be adopted as a policy as a part of cultural sensitivity and consent of the indigenous peoples on those covered under the School of Living tradition.
The ordinance stipulated that the local government shall source out funds from the annual cultural development plans or in the absence of such, there shall be an allotment pursuant to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2013-98 dated September 10, 2013. The schools, through their School of Living tradition, can avail of the funds for their related programs for basic cultural materials or indigenous instruments.