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Ladybhem P.

Sialongo March 7,
History 253

The Impact of American Educators in Mindanao and Sulu

By Eleanor T. Elequin

About the Author:

She is a professor of Educational Foundation, College of Education, University of the
Philippines and was a Fullbright Visiting Professor of Education, University of Guam.
About the Article:
She described the development of American educational policies in the Moro Province
as the American policy of Pacification. Schools were built and the teachers were either
Americans or Filipinos from Luzon. They used English as their medium of instruction and
encourage the natives and Muslims to send their children to schools. Accordingly these schools
were seen as the partners of the American mission of training Filipinos for self-government.
At first the natives were hesitant particularly the Muslims in sending their children into
these schools for they are afraid that it might be a place of exploitation especially to their
women. Another factor was that they are afraid of losing their culture because they believe
that sending their sons and daughters might alter their perception or might be they will
brainwash their youth and will side with the Americans. Later on they send their slaves to
schools and observed what will happened. And after they found out that these Americans
tolerated their religion it’s the time that they started sending their sons and women were
allowed to go to school in the latter years. Americans also implemented education as
mandatory to all the residents as part of their policy of education.
Relationship between educators and the political order was seen as Americans applied
the idea that in developing countries, education selects and trains political leaders. Those slaves
who attained education from the American were given positions in the government which
created conflict towards the Muslims. During 1920 the pensionados of from Sulu and Mindanao
were brought to Manila or America for further studies and training.

The Americans did not value the tradition and culture of the Muslims especially in
political aspects when they have given positions in the government to these slaves who were
educated by the Americans. What they saw is that changed was necessary to the Muslims
socially and culturally and can only be attained through education. To the part of the Muslims
being govern by those whom they regard as low level in the society particularly the Filipinos
and slaves was an insult. Since they don’t have the other choice they tend to assimilate
themselves and adopted the American Policy of education in their lands.