By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined all private and public elementary and secondary schools to undertake activities in line with the celebration of the 2019 National Children’s Month (NCM) this November.
Education Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua, in DepEd Memorandum No. 147 series of 2019, expressed DepEd’s support to the celebration of the NCM this year which will be led by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC).
With the theme, “Karapatang Pambata: Patuloy na Pahalagahan at Gampanan tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan,” this year’s celebration of the NCM is made extra special as it coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC).
Pascua noted that the celebration of this year’s NCM is pursuant to Republic Act No. 10661 entitled “An Act Declaring the Month of November of Every Year as the National Children’s Month” which also commemorates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989.
The NCM, Pascua noted, aims to “celebrate and recognize children as the most valuable assets of the nation” as well as to “emphasize the importance of their role within the Filipino family and Philippine society.” The law tasked the CWC, Department of Social and Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) to lead the annual celebration.
For its part, DepEd encouraged its offices and public and private schools to participate in major activities of the NCM.
This year’s celebration, Pascua noted, aims to “intensify public awareness on the rights of children and remind all sectors to be responsible in raising Filipino children to become well-rounded people, and to protect them at all costs, as enshrined in the UN CRC.”
Pascua explained that this year’s NCM celebration also aims to “promote the institutionalization of a child-friendly and child-sensitive environment and governance through the implementation and monitoring of CRC at all levels” and to “provide a platform for discourse on the newly-elected landmark legislations and persistent issues pertaining to children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.”
Ultimately, the celebration aims to “empower children as rights-holders and duty-bearers to deliver commitment to promote, protect, and fulfill their rights as children.”
In view of the NCM celebration, Pascua noted that the DepEd Central Office (CO), regional/schools division offices, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools are encouraged to undertake various activities related to the theme for their entire month.
The said activities may include hoisting of streamer/banner of this year’s NCM celebration depicting its theme; recitation of the “Panatang Makabata” during the flag raising ceremonies on all Mondays of November; development, production and distribution of information, education and communication materials and other collaterals to include those developed by the CWC; in-class discussions on current issues such as bullying and conduct of child-friendly activities such as art contests and others.
First Nat’l Summit on the Rights of the Child in Education
In line with this year’s NCM celebration, DepEd will hold for the first time the national summit on the rights of the child in education.
With theme, “Bata, Bata: Karapatan Mo, Tungkulin Ko,” the summit – which aims to “reaffirm the commitment of stakeholders to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of the child” – is scheduled on November 14 to 15 in Metro Manila.
Aside from reaffirming the commitment of the stakeholders to “respect, protect and fulfill” the rights of the child – as enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, other domestic laws and rules, and international law (primarily the CRC), DepEd noted that the summit aims to “unpack the various rights of the child in basic education and provide a venue to deepen appreciation of these rights by both the rights-holders and duty-bearers in a rights-based framework of basic education.”
DepEd also noted that the summit aims to “celebrate the successes in upholding the rights of the child and identify the challenges in their realization to help address them with a whole-of-society approach, including the participation of children themselves as rights-holders.”