DepEd promotes children’s rights amid pandemic

Published November 7, 2020, 1:06 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In line with the celebration of the 2020 National Children’s Month this November, the Department of Education enjoined all private and public elementary and secondary schools to undertake activities that would promote children’s rights amid the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones has issued DepEd Memorandum No. 68, Series of 2020, expressing DepEd’s support to the celebration of the NCM this year which is led by the Council for the Welfare of Children.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

With theme, “Sama-samang Itaguyod Ang Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya!”, this year’s celebration of the NCM focuses on upholding the rights of children in light of the ongoing pandemic.

Briones 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 (CRC) by the United Nations General Assembly on Nov. 20, 1989.

This year’s NCM, Briones said, further “articulates the importance of the CRC to the Filipino consciousness.” It also mandates DepEd to facilitate and encourage the celebration of the NCM in all public and private schools nationwide.

This year’s NCR celebration aims to “intensify public awareness on children’s rights, adequate care for children, and application of positive discipline in daily dealings with children.”

The celebration also aims to “promote further the institutionalization of a child-friendly environment and governance by promoting implementation and monitoring of child-related protocols at the sub-national levels.”

This year’s NCM celebration, Briones explained, will “provide a platform for discourse on persistent and arising issues pertaining to children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation during the post-COVID-19.”

The month-long celebration also aims to “build the capacity of children as rights-holders to claim and protect their rights” and build the capacity of duty-bearers to deliver their commitment and fulfill their obligations to protect children and fulfill the rights of children.”

In view of the NCM celebration and this year’s theme, Briones said that the DepEd Central Office (CO), regional and schools division offices, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools, as well as the attached agencies of DepEd, are encouraged to undertake various activities related to the theme for their entire month of November.

Since there are no face-to-face classes this school year, DepEd encourages schools to participate in major online activities of the 2020 NCM which include webinars and story-telling sessions.