It has already been argued that any development that is not entrenched and weaved through the local people’s consciousness, traditions, and values is bound to fail (Zerrudo, 2005). During the 1982 UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies, “development” was defined as a “complex, comprehensive and multidimensional process which extends beyond mere economic growth, to incorporate all dimensions of life and all the energies of a community, all of those whose members are called upon to make a contribution and expect to share in the benefits” (Sta. Maria, 2001 p.67). Thus, it is imperative to include the dimensions of culture and heritage when drafting policies on national development. This is where cultural heritage finds its significance.
Cultural Heritage has been defined as “all the beliefs, values, practices, and objects that give a place its own specific character (Zialcita, 2007, pg.1). With this, the importance of heritage conservation cannot be overstated. In sustaining the value, meaning and significance of cultural resources from the past, for the use of the present and inspiration of future generations (Zerrudo, 2008), development becomes sustainable as it directly spring from the people and is appropriate to the local communities. However, the process of cultural conservation is entwined with the issue of awareness. We cannot expect local communities to conserve something that they are not aware of. Therefore, the process of heritage conservation brings fort the importance of education.
RA 10066 also known as The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 mandates the Department of Education, in coordination with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA) Philippine Cultural Education Program (PCEP), to “formulate the cultural heritage education programs both for local and overseas Filipinos to be incorporated in the formal, alternative and informal education, with emphasis on the protection, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage properties” (Article X, Section 38). Responding to the requirement set by law, the Department of Education utilized the data from the National Cultural Mapping Project of NCCA PCEP to create the SAGISAG KULTURA NG PILIPINAS (SKP), the essential Knowledge on Philippine Arts, Culture and Heritage in the then Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) (NCCA,2014). With the shift in the new K-12 curriculum, steps in developing a culture-based curriculum with emphasis on mother-tongue instruction and learning approach were evident.
Although the K-12 Curriculum is already on its third year of implementation, criticisms and scrutiny on its substance and implementation abound (Pooten, 2012). It is within this context that this paper operates. This study focuses on the teaching of cultural heritage in the elementary and high school level while problematizing the present condition of our basic education system.
A. Research Question
Within the backdrop of the Basic Education System of...