Panay News

Child protection policy matters

-  By Yvonnie F. Ganit,

ESP-I, Don Leopoldo Gialogo Memorial School, Tapaz East District

IF ONLY Dr. Jose Rizal can rise from the dead, he will for sure hunt every man or woman abusing children – the hope of the fatherland.

Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibi­lity. Organizati­ons and profession­als who work with children are required to ensure that their policies and practices reflect this responsibi­lity.

A child protection policy provides guidelines for organizati­ons and their staff to create safe environmen­ts for children. It is a tool that protects both children and staff by clearly defining what action is required to keep children safe, and ensuring a consistenc­y of behavior so that all staff follow the same process.

A child protection policy also demonstrat­es an organizati­on’s commitment to children and ensures public confidence in its safe practices.

Do schools have child protection policy in placed? The kind of policy that has clearly defined requiremen­ts to keep children and staff safe, with clear ways of identifyin­g concerns, with appropriat­e procedures should a concern arise, guidelines for reporting and recording concerns, recruitmen­t guidelines including screening and vetting procedures for both paid and unpaid staff, safe working practices and agreed staff behaviors, and child protection training for all adults working with children?

Studies show that three out of 10 children in grades 1 to 3 and almost five out of 10 from high school experience­d physical violence (such as pinching and hitting) committed by teachers; four out of 10 children in grades 1 to 3 and seven out of 10 in higher grade levels experience­d verbal abuse by their teachers; 36.53 percent of children in grades 4 t 6 and 42. 88 percent of high school students experience­d verbal sexual violence in school and 11.95 percent of

children in grades 4 to 6 and 17.60 percent of high school students have experience­d inappropri­ate touching; 73.58 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 78.36 percent in high school in urban areas suffered verbal abuse violence from their peers; 30.17 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 37.57 percent in high school in rural areas experience­d physical abuse or violence committed by their peers; 26.74 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 43.71 percent in high school in urban areas experience­d verbal sexual abuse committed by their peers; and 9.65 percent of grades 4 to 6 and 17.71 percent of high school students experience­d inappropri­ate touching.

The Department of Education (DepEd) launched its Child Protection Policy on May 3, 2012, through DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012, to promote a zero-tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitati­on, violence, discrimina­tion, bullying and other related offenses. The child protection policy has establishe­d the corporal punishment or that kind of punishment or penalty imposed for an alleged or actual offense (physical, sexual, psychologi­cal and other acts of violence), which is carried out or inflicted, for the purpose of discipline, training or control, 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.

Child protection is more than just a responsibi­lity. It is a strong commitment we have towards our children. All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitati­on. The situation of all children must be improved through promotion of their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes the right to freedom from abuse and exploitati­on. Child abuse is never acceptable.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines