Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) works closely with the Schools Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) of Sarangani Communities and Indigenous Peoples (IP) in the province to provide mobile literacy apps to Tagakaulo learners and Tboli from Sarangani province.
Recently, elders and culture bearers from both IP communities came together to validate the stories, language, numbers, letters, colors and illustrations collected by writers and content creators that will be converted into digital assets for literacy applications.
“It’s about ensuring that the use of Tboli and Tagakaulo cultural elements and language is accurate and culturally appropriate,” said Stephanie Orlino, head of stakeholder management at PLDT and Smart.
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Biya Elizabeth Bitco of the Tagakaulo Tribe said validation by elders of all materials to be used for the app is necessary and important to ensure that the information passed to the next generation is accurate and authentic.
“This process allows us to achieve our common goal of ensuring that the learning materials used truly reflect the heritage of Tagakaulo before they are consumed by the community, especially by our young learners,” she said. declared.
Wata-wanan IP school principal Christopher Tanedo, who is also the IPEd coordinator at West Maitum, said they have changed some content to suit its younger audience.
“Some of the content has been tweaked slightly, especially where it incites violence. We understand that the original stories of our tribes contain a level of violence, so we’ve made it more kid-friendly, but the thought of the story remains,” he explained.
Orlino ensured that skills in developing learning materials are aligned with DepED and that indigenization of content is approved by the Provincial Tribal Council and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Smart encourages the development of tribal-centric learning apps in different languages, as studies show that the managed use of digital tools can boost young students’ literacy and increase their interest in learning.