Thursday, May 12, 2016

Children at the Heart (Day 1)

Children at the Heart (Day 1)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the DepEd USec Rey Laguda's Day 1 of 50-day journey being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account. - Blogger/owner)

The Filipino children are at the heart of what we do. It has always been like that and it will always be that way. This is easy to say but very difficult to implement because of the many threats that children face.

It took a while to contextualize this in DepEd terms and we embarked on a process of redefining our vision, mission, and values. Like any organization, this sets the direction and defines the core reason of the Department, the Why of the Whys. There were many debates about this, which I don’t want to dig up anymore. But the point is, we wanted the bureaucracy to be learner-centered and to manifest this in its policies, programs, and projects.

Thinking of the 24 million learners under our wing, we then articulated DepEd’s Child Protection Policy in 2012, putting a premium on the well-being and safety of children. We want them to be free and protected from violence, exploitation, discrimination, and other forms of abuse.

Together with this policy declaration, guidelines were defined on how cases can be reported and resolved without disregarding children’s rights and due process. DepEd field offices have been trained to deal with sensitive cases in the implementation of this policy. This policy also guided DepEd in helping in the formulation of the Anti-Bullying Act (RA 10627).

We continue striving to create a safe learning environment - where children are free to unravel who they are and who they can become without fear of judgment or reprisal. The work doesn’t end with the formulation of policy. This must be sustained in order to build a learner-friendly nation and DepEd must be at the forefront of enshrining children’s rights.

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P.S. Can anyone suggest a hashtag for this series? #notfanficplease




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