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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



27 March 2023 01:00:21 PM

The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture technical working group (TWG) chaired by ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro tackled on Monday the substitute bill seeking to institutionalize support mechanisms on matters of student discipline and classroom management for teachers and personnel in the public school system.
The substitute bill consolidates House Bills (HB) 364, 549, and 6940. According to Rep. Castro, the difference between classroom discipline and child abuse should be clearly delineated.
Several stakeholders, including the Department of Education (DepEd), expressed support for the measure, stressing the need for a law to enable the government to provide legal assistance to teachers.
ACT NCR Union President Ruby Bernardo raised that Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act" is being used against public school teachers who are only maintaining order in classrooms and ensuring that students receive quality education.
Bernardo said the government must put in place policy guidelines on classroom management to protect both the students and teachers.
DepEd Chief Administrative Officer Francis Allen Dela Cruz relayed to the TWG, upon instruction of Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte , that the DepEd is already trying to address the lack of DepEd legal officers.
The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) Chief Legal Officer Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada urged the panel to also provide for teacher empowerment in the bill.
Rep. Castro assured attendees that the guidelines, once finalized, would be properly disseminated to help ensure the public is well-informed.
The TWG would reconvene to discuss each section of the measure. Rep. Castro said all inputs would be considered to strengthen the bill.