The telecommunications firm Smart Communications is helping preserve the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao by converting key elements of their culture into digital assets that may be explored with the use of a mobile literacy app.
On Thursday, Smart said it has partnered with the Schools Division of Sarangani and with two IP communities in the province to convert the stories, language, numbers, letters, colors and illustrations put together by writers and content creators into digital assets.
“This is to ensure that the use of the T’boli and Tagakaulo cultural elements and language is accurate and culturally appropriate,” PLDT/Smart stakeholders management head Stephanie V. Orlino said.
The Tagakaulo tribe represented by Biya Elizabeth A. Bitco said their elders are validating all materials for conversion into digital form to ensure that the information passed on to the next generation is accurate and authentic.
Wata-wanan IP School head Christopher Tanedo, who also serves as IP education coordinator, said they tweaked some of the contents to fit its young audience.
“Some content were slightly changed, especially when they promote violence. We understand that our tribes’ original stories have a level of violence in it, so we made it more child-friendly but the thought of the story remains,” he explained.
Orlino said the competencies id developing the learning materials are in keeping with the Department of Education and the indigenization of the contents are approved by the Provincial Tribal Council and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).