Children must be protected from all forms of abuse and violence, and schools must provide an environment that is safe, free from fear, and conducive to learning. The Department of Education (DepEd) reiterates this, through its Child Protection Policy (DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012).
The Order requires all public and private elementary and secondary schools to create their own Child Protection Committee (CPC). The CPC should ensure that cases and instances of abuse are monitored closely at school level. The committee will also assess the reports and complaints, and will conduct investigations, expeditiously.
For the school year 2014-2015, 11,448 incidents of bullying, and 2,706 incidents of child abuse were reported.
Furthermore, DepEd ensures the conduct of nationwide information campaign to mobilize and educate the students, parents, teachers, community, local government units, and other stakeholders in addressing child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse.
Because learners are prone to bullying when they are in school, DepEd calls for the learners to respect everyone's rights regardless of opinion, status, gender, ethnicity, religion, as well as everyone's moral and physical integrity.
The DepEd also denounced the use of corporal punishment or any kind of punishment imposed for an alleged or actual offense, which is carried out by a teacher, school administrator, an adult, or any other child who has been given or has assumed authority or responsibility for punishment or discipline.
To help teachers cope with the day to day challenges of dealing with young and active learners, the DepEd, in cooperation with E-Net Philippines and Save the Children, launched the Primer on Positive Discipline for Everyday Teaching to help teachers apply a positive approach in classroom management.
Online child protection
Recognizing that education has to cope with the effects of technology on the 21st century learning environment, the DepEd Memorandum No. 94, s. 2016 or the Promotion of Online Child Protection and Prevention of Cyberbullying was issued.
Under this memorandum, the DepEd partnered with Stairway Foundation, Inc (SFI) to ensure that learners are protected from cyberbullying and from other potential risks of using the internet.
Dubbed as the Cybersafe Project, the partnership launched the Cybersafe Online Lesson Plans for Grades Five and Six (Manual 1) and Junior High School (Manual 2) learners on March 30, 2016. These modules were designed to aid teachers in developing the students' capacities to stay safe online by promoting positive online behavior and teaching students how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying.
Source: Philippine Information Agency