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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Luistro Reminds Schools About Children's Rights

In celebration of the National Children’s Month (NCM) this October, Education Secretary Armin Luistro has reminded all public and private schools nationwide to strengthen children’s awareness of their rights, particularly against violence inside and outside the school premises.
Luistro made the call after an incident in Bantayan Island, Cebu earlier this month in which a nine-year-old grade three pupil of Vito Elementary School died after he was allegedly punched by a 10-year-old student.
He underscored that schools must “continue strengthen” the existing Child Protection Policy (CPP) of the DepEd and the Republic Act No. 10627 or the Anti-Bullying of Act 2013.
“The objective of the CPP is to promote zero-tolerance policy for any act of child exploitation, violence, discrimination, and other forms of abuse,” Luistro said.
DepEd’s CPP puts primary importance on the well-being of children and continues to push for the development of safe and nurturing learner-centered institutions.
“It’s hard if there’s one incident and we are reactionary,” said Luistro, pertaining to the course of action DepEd implements in violence-related incidents involving students. “For us, we try to monitor what happens in our schools but we cannot make a policy if there are one or two incidents that occur,” he added.
Luistro maintained that the “long-term and sustainable solution” to child-related violence such as bullying, punishment and harassment among others – particularly in schools – is the DepEd’s CPP.
“It is not ideal to make a policy specific to one incident,” he stressed. “What we need is cooperation among stakeholders not only in our schools but also the local community, barangay, parents-teachers’ association (PTA) and parents who guide their children in their respective homes as well,” he added.
In line with this, Luistro said that schools must also initiate activities that “highlight the role of children in community life and nation-building.”
All public and private schools officials were urged to conduct school activities that underscore the important role of children in their respective communities and for the country during month-long celebration of NCM.
Luistro, in DepEd Memo No. 113, reiterated the continued commitment of the Department of Education (DepEd) to promote children’s welfare and development.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the NCM celebration pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 267 series of 1993 “Declaring the Month of October Every Year as the National Children’s Month” in partnership with Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and other government agencies.
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