World Vision partners with DepEd Bohol to strengthen Child Protection mechanism in public schools
World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF) and the Department of Education (DepEd) share a common goal of upholding the safety and dignity of children. World Vision’s passion to protect children springs from the belief that ‘every child occupies a special place in the heart of God and has value and purpose in God’s sight,’ while DepEd has a zero-tolerance policy for any act of child-abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse through its DepEd Order #40 or the DepEd Child Protection Policy.
World Vision sees the DepEd Child Protection Policy as an opportunity to advocate applicable child protection mechanisms to schools thus, the organization partnered with DepEd Bohol Division and conducted a couple of Child Protection Policy workshops.
The first workshop was held in the municipality of Sagbayan during the month of April. School members — school heads, guidance counselors, teachers, PTA representative and select student leaders — joined the activity. A second leg of the workshop followed during the month of May in the municipality of Ubay. Representatives from DepEd, Department of Social Welfare and Development, World Vision and Philippine National Police – Women and Child Protection Desk, facilitated both workshops.
Participants during one of the Child Protection Policy Orientations
The participants raised reports of child abuse and bullying in their respective schools. The implementation of DepEd Order #40 in each school was also assessed and it was found out that most participating schools had weak implementation of the policy. The lack of contextualized child protection and anti-bullying policy documents were identified as factors of the problem. This resulted to poor management of child abuse and bullying cases.
The participants realized the importance of the DepEd Policy. To address the gap, the participants worked together and came up with written policy for each school. Their outputs were reviewed by a legal personnel, Atty. Vanessa Quijano, and World Vision Child Protection specialist, Marlie Lopez. The policy documents will be finalized during a deliberation workshop that will happen this July before submitting it to DepEd Bohol Division office for approval.
With the existing DepEd Child Protection Policy documents, it is the hope and dream of both the participants and facilitators that all children will enjoy their rights and be protected from any forms of abuses.
World Vision child protection advocacy is anchored on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), which the Philippine government is fully committed “to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members” and to “undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the convention.”
Written by Mong Jimenez, World Vision/July 19, 2018
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.