DepEd reinforces anti-bullying efforts

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) has stressed its zero tolerance on cases of child abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying, and other forms of abuse.

In a statement released Thursday night, DepEd emphasized its commitment to promote a child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe, and motivating environment for all learners.

This is in response to Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara’s call for the department to address bullying in schools.

DepEd explained that it has a Child Protection Policy which mandates all public and private schools to create their own Child Protection Committee to ensure that cases and instances of abuse are closely monitored and expeditiously investigated.

Issued through DepEd Order number 40 series 2012, the policy led to the effective and efficient monitoring of child abuse cases.

The statement said the implementation of the policy resulted in the decrease of child abuse cases from 29,723 in school year 2015-2016 to 19,672 in school year 2016-2017.

In response to Republic Act 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, DepEd has trained its Child Protection Specialists who will provide technical guidance to schools on complex and serious cases of child abuse.

This is mandated in the DepEd Anti-Bullying Policy issued through DepEd Order number 55 series 2013.

“DepEd has time and again called for teachers and officials alike to instill among learners the value of respect for each other’s rights regardless of their opinion, status, gender, ethnicity, religion, as well as moral and physical integrity,” the statement read.

It added that it continues to intensify the campaign in educating the learners, parents, teachers, community members, local government units, and other stakeholders on child protection.

On Wednesday, Angara called on the department to ensure that all schools are conducting prevention and intervention programs to address bullying, as he cited that almost a hundred incidents of bullying are reported in schools daily. Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA-northboundasia.com