Nakem conference tackles inclusion, critical engagement in education

Inclusion and critical engagement in education in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic was tackled during the first global virtual and the 15th Nakem International Conference last December 17-19, 2020. 


The webinar is organized by the Nakem Conferences Philippines and Nakem Conferences International, in collaboration with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Saint Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City, and the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa Ilokano Program in Honolulu, Hawaii. 


The three-day event aimed to document the successful approaches, philosophies, methodologies, and strategies employed by educators in responding to the demands of the altered educational environment. 


Attended by academic professionals, researchers, and scholars from various universities in the country and abroad, the activity was composed of panel presentations of 31 research topics that are related to linguistic justice, cultural democracy and liberation education. 


Presenters from MMSU were Leonardo D. Tejano (Center for Ilokano and Amianan Studies); May Flor C. Rivera (Laboratory Elementary School); and the groups of Milalyn Marcelo (LGU Dingras), Carmencita Lorenzo, Jonathan L. Macatbag, and Anavel Ladia (all DepEd); and Rosabel Acosta (CTE), Khimbee Miguel (Extension Directorate), and Ednalyn Pascual-Mateo (DepEd). Lorenzo, Marcelo, Ladia, Macatbag, and Mateo are students of MAEd major in Ilokano studies at MMSU Graduate School.

Their research topics were the following: Utilizing Ilokano-Based Translanguaging Approach in the Development of Mother Tongue Learning Modules for Distance Education by Tejano; Panagtaripato: Effects of Mother Tongue Learning Modules on the Home and Family Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic by Rivera; Translation as Strategy and Tactic in Inclusion and Engagement by Lorenzo’s group; and Folk Rituals and Pagsasao as Strategies for Engagement and Inclusion by Acosta’s group.


Other presenters come from the University of the Philippines (UP); University of Northern Philippines (UNP) and North Luzon Philippines State College (NLPSC) in Ilocos Sur; Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union; Philippine Science High School – Ilocos Region Campus (PSHS-IRC); Abra State Institute of Sciences and Technology – Bangued Campus (ASIST-BC) and Department of Education-Schools Division Of Abra (DepEd-SDA); Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), Saint Mary’s University (SMU), and Turod Elementary School (TES) in Nueva Vizcaya; Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) in Tarlac; Agusan Del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ADSSCAT); Lanao del Norte Division of Schools (LDNDS); and Pelangi Publishing Company (PLC) Limited in Thailand. 


“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we still are able to pursue the commitment of service to others through this meaningful engagement,” expressed Dr. Alegria T. Visaya, convener of Nakem 2020 conference, as she welcomed and thanked the participants during the virtual opening program. 


MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis commended the organizers and participants in this year’s virtual conference for taking part in this bold undertaking, and admired them for their efforts to engage in a critical discussion at this difficult time. 


Dr. Agrupis also assured that MMSU will remain as the staunch collaborator of the annual conference and the university will continue to house the Nakem consortium, citing that thirteen years ago, the Philippine branch of the Nakem Conference in the United States was founded in MMSU in May 2007.


The event also launched six new books authored by well-known Ilokano geniuses. These are the Bayengyeng, an anthology of diasporic Ilocano poetry by Amado Yoro, Romy Basuel, Corazon Quiamas, Francis Ponce, Arnold Jose, and Aurelio Agcaoili; Pagsasao (Ilokano life according to our ancestors) by Delila Gamet Agtani and William Labtis; Pardanon/Consummated/Konsumado (poems in Ilokano, English, and Tagalog), Iti Sabali a Disso (Elsewhere, Dandaniw Paraoir (paraoir poems), and Covidizado Dagiti Aldawtayo (our days are covidized) by Agcaoili, also a convener of Nakem conferences.


Nakem is an indigenous Ilokano term that refers to “a critical consciousness; a moral standard among Ilokanos; the test of someone’s human worth; the measure of one’s person; and the core of one’s being.” – Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. (StratCom)