Philippines Toward a Child-Friendly Education Environment

Topics: Teaching

Children’s peers, more than the adults, are the perpetrators of violence in schools. 4. Male children are more likely to experience physical violence than female children. 5. Physical and verbal forms of violence are accepted by the children as part of discipline and seen as appropriate when inflicted within certain parameters. 6. Children generally prefer a more positive form of discipline such as being talked to and erected or guided/counseled in response to offenses or violations made in school. 3 7. Experiences of violence usually result in low self-esteem, fear, anger and helplessness among children.


Family background and personal circumstances, influence of peers and media, lack of awareness about children’s rights, fear, inability of authority figures to respond to cases, and lack of policies are some of the factors cited as contributing to incidences of violence in schools. 9. Children and adults recommend awareness raising and capacity building activities for parents, teachers and children, clear policies, ND collaborative measures that involve all stakeholders including community leaders as measures to address VIC in schools.

Given the above the research puts forward the following recommendations: 1 .

Advocate for stronger involvement of the Department of Education in developing and standardizing child protection policies and mechanisms for schools must be facilitated. 2. Concretion the collaboration of different stakeholders for the protection of children by establishing clear, functioning mechanisms for VIC case reporting and processing as well as for school monitoring. 3. Provide adequate information to local government officials, other community leaders, school officials, teachers, parents and children on relevant laws relating to child abuse and child protection.

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Capacity building must also be provided across the different stakeholder groups, so that they could facilitate the processing of VIC cases and ensure justice for children. 4. Enact local legislation at the barraging and the municipal levels, which would further help protect children from possible abuses and various forms of violence. 5. Step up and concretion programs promoting children’s rights in schools and in the communities wrought campaigns addressing specific forms of violence against children in schools. 6.

Promote alternatives to corporal punishment by documenting and disseminating cases demonstrating the merits of positive approaches to discipline, and facilitating discussions with both adults and children in the schools and the broader communities. 7. Undertake more in-depth studies on VIC in schools. Against Children in schools RESEARCH PROTOCOL for PLAN Area Research 4 l. INTRODUCTION A. Background of the Study The United Nations World Report on Violence Against Children (2006) is a landmark document in the advocacy for children’s human rights.

Specifically, it discussed VIC in the settings where children are most at risk: in the home and family, in schools, in workplaces, in care and justice institutions, and in communities. Specific to violence in education settings, the Report identified the occurrence of physical and psychological punishment; gender-based violence and discrimination; bullying, fighting, physical assault and gangs; homicide and serious physical injury; and weapons in school as violations of children’s human rights, regardless of the number of cases or frequency these were experienced by children in schools.

The UN World Report rewarded its core message that “No violence against children is justifiable. All violence against children is preventable” (italics supplied). The Report also recommended creating information systems, including establishing baseline data, on VIC in schools. This recommendation is particularly significant in the light of the dearth of data on such in the country. 1 These data would be critical in developing policies and programs to address violence in schools systematically. The past two decades saw gains in increasing awareness and building knowledge about violence against children in this country.

A total of 1 national legislations were passed relating to protection of children’s rights and welfare during this period. Most of these pertain to child abuse in general, with two of these enacted legislations citing specific forms of violence against children in schools. The Anti-Sexual Harassment Law (1996) penalizes various forms of sexual violence specifically in the work place including the educational environment, while the Initiating Law (1995) addresses the violent initiation rites of school-based fraternities, sororities and similar organizations.

Indeed, the school is one setting where violence against children occurs. The extent and magnitude however are largely unknown. There are many non-government organizations assisting children who are victims of violence and abuses but the systematic collation of data is weak. Available data at national level is usually limited only to reported cases from the Legal Department of the Department of Education, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the PUGH Child Protection Unit, and the Philippine National Police.

This data gap was recognized by the Philippine Government in its Response to the UN VIC Study Questionnaire. 5 The Third and Fourth Periodic Report of the Philippine Government to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2007) mentioned the following statistics: An estimated 500 to 800 cases of child abuse were committed by teachers each year according to the Child Adolescent Psychiatrists of the Philippines Inc. (CAPRI). In 2006, a CAPRI survey also revealed that 50 per cent of the perpetrators of child abuse in schools were teachers, while a small number involved janitors, bus drivers, and other school personnel.

The UP- Philippine General Hospital (UP-PUGH) Child Protection Unit documentation likewise identified teachers as perpetrators in five per cent of physical abuse ND three percent of the sexual abuse cases it handled. These numbers represent only a small fraction of the actual cases of violence against children in schools. It has been recognized that many more cases remain unreported due to lack of awareness on child rights in the community, lack of access to reporting and referral systems, or simply, due to fear.

The Department of Education regulatory policies at the level of professional organizations deem inflicting violence against children in schools as unethical among teachers. A teacher shall not inflict corporal punishment on offending learner nor make deductions from their scholastic rating as a punishment for acts which are clearly not manifestations of poor scholarship (Article VIII, Section 2, The Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers 1 998) (italics supplied) Further the more recent Depend Service Manual (2000) prohibits corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure (Unit IV, Chapter 3 on School Discipline): 1 . . 1. School officials and teachers shall have the right to impose appropriate and reasonable disciplinary measures in case of minor offenses or infractions Of good discipline. However no cruel physically harmful enmeshment shall be imposed or applied against any pupil or student.

The Manual further defines and describes corporal punishment and stipulates penalty for violations, as follows: Suspension / Expulsion – The use of corporal punishment by teachers (slapping, jerking or pushing pupils / students about), imposing manual work or degrading tasks as penalty, meting out cruel or unusual punishments of any nature, holding up a pupil / student to unnecessary ridicules, the use of epithets and expressions intending to destroy the pupils / student’s self-respect and the permanent confiscation of arsenal property of pupils.

Civil society groups engaged in building the capacities of schools to address child abuse also surfaced cases of violence done to children in schools. For instance, the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (ASPECTS) reported 45 cases of sexual and physical violence from 1997 to 1998 in the schools where they were piloting a Personal Safety Curriculum. Six of these were sexual violence cases involving a teacher: five of the victims were male students aged 10-13 years old, while the female victim was 16 years old. 22 Yacht and Eng 2001; see also UP SST KIDS and Save the Children UK 2003. Researches on child discipline in the school setting give more insights on the context of violence against children in schools. Noteworthy in this regard are studies on corporal punishment in families and schools undertaken by Save the Children-Sweden in the Asia-pacific region 3, and the study done by PLAN Philippines 4 that looked into the children’s and adults’ concepts of child discipline child abuse. Both studies revealed community acceptance of corporal punishment and harsh reprimands as part of discipline, and such acceptance was identified as a sustaining factor for violence against children in schools.

In November 2007, PLAN Philippines commissioned the Philippine School of Social Work (SSW) of the Philippine Women’s university to undertake a study on violence against children (VIC) in public schools in areas covered by PLAN programs. Entitled, “Toward a Child Friendly Education Environment: A Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in Public Schools”, the research is in line with PLAN’s global campaign on Learn Without Fear. This campaign envisions “a world where children can go to a school in feet and expect quality learning experience without fear of threats of violence. B. Research Description 1. Research Problem and Objectives This research on violence against children in public schools does not only relate to the PLAN global campaign on Learn Without Fear, but also serves as a follow-through undertaking to the United Nations World Report on Violence Against Children at the national level. The study aims to contribute to the growing literature on VIC in schools in the country by exploring its dimensions and mapping out in broad strokes its definition from the points of IEEE of children and of adult stakeholders.

Specifically, the objectives are as follows: (d) To describe the issue of VIC in schools from the points of view of children, parents, the school management and its personnel (teaching or non- teaching) in the selected research sites. (e) To identify factors that support or deter violence against children in schools in the selected research sites. (f) To recommend policy and program interventions to address VIC in schools, towards making schools more child-friendly. 3 Save the Children Sweden (2006). Results of Comparative Research on the Physical and Emotional

Punishment of Children in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. 4 Plan, 2006. Understanding Child Discipline and Child Abuse in the Filipino Context: Comparing Perspectives Of parents, Children, professionals and Community Leaders. 7 There are six questions that the study seeks to answer: 1 . What specific acts of teachers, other students, and non-teaching personnel and adult stakeholders consider as violence against children or abusive to children? 2. What are the considerations when categorizing or labeling a certain act as violent or abusive? 3. What are the effects of violence and abuse to children ho experience them? . What factors hinder or sustain incidents of violence and abuse against children in schools? 5. To what extent does the available system of action in school respond to and prevent violence against children? 6. In what aspects can the school environment be improved towards protecting children and making them safer in schools? 2. Scope and Limitations of the Study The research confines itself to the following parameters Geographical scope: PLAN National Office identified the research sites for this study: Messmate, Northern Samara and the Comates Islands in Zebu.

Public schools: Only public schools were included in the sampling. A total of 58 schools participated in the study. Ten elementary and ten secondary schools were randomly identified each from Messmate and Comates Islands. In Northern Samara, ten elementary schools and eight secondary schools were randomly selected; two of the eight secondary schools were not covered by PLAN. Children: School children below 18 years old were identified to participate in the study. They were broadly grouped by grade levels I. E. , Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6 and high school. A total of 2,442 children participated in the surveys. 02 participants o focus group discussions (Figs) and 332 interview respondents were identified from this pool of children. It should also be noted that the study followed the age norms for each of these grade levels. As such, respondents from Grades 1-3 were aged 6-10 years old; Grades 4-6 included only children aged 9-13 years old; and high school student-participants were limited to those in the 12-17 year-old age range. 5 5 See also the Research Protocol for other details regarding selection of participants; the profile of research participants is also available on page 12 of this report. (1 2 January 2008) Adult participants: In each of the provinces, three Figs were convened with adult stakeholders, with the following participant totals: a) 29 parents and other community representatives; b) 71 school personnel; and c) 1 1 guidance counselors. Interviews were conducted with 20 school heads (principals or officers-in-charge) and 1 1 guidance counselors. Guidance counselor in this study meant either the guidance counselor (with planting item) or the teacher-UCM-guidance counselor. Documentation of the interviews and Figs.

The research sites entailed data gathering that depended a great deal on the lied researchers’ knowledge of the local dialect. Interviews were done in the dialect, but all documentation was done in English. As for the survey forms, responses from the children were mostly written in Filipino rather than in their dialect. 9 I. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE A. Violence Against Children Defined Violence against children (VIC) is not a new concept, however new the term may be in the country which is more familiar with “child abuse”.

Indeed these two terms have been used interchangeably in most Philippine literature which shows no clear distinctions between them. Essentially, definitions of OTOH highlighted the forms of violence can take (physical, psychological, sexual), the manner it was experienced (direct or indirect, threatened or actual) and its effects (physical and emotional). Violence against children, however, is more comprehensive defined as any act that violates children’s rights, particularly their right to physical and mental health, security and bodily integrity.

The World Report on Violence Against Children 6 expounded on violence as a real¶y’ in many children’s lives. Although no specific definition was forwarded by the Report, it considered key international and regional unman rights standards and non-binding instruments in articulating State obligations to protect children against “all forms of physical, mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment and exploitation,… Including sexual abuse… ” (CRY, Article 19).

These included the: Universal Declaration on Human Rights Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention on Civil and Political Rights Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women International Criminal, Humanitarian, Refugee and Labor Laws Furthermore, it also forwarded that violence occurs in various settings where children are found, and where discrimination on the basis of gender, social status and ethnicity, among others, exist.

With regard to violence schools, the World Report defined the following forms of violence as experienced by children worldwide: 7 Physical and psychological punishment (e. G. Corporal punishment) Any act in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. The Report also includes non-physical forms of cruel and degrading punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens or scares, or ridicules children as violence. 7 Epinephrine (2006: 31-39) Epinephrine (2006: 1 16-128) 10 Discrimination, sexual and gender-based violence. Gender-based violence stems from gender inequality, stereotypes and socially imposed roles. Sexual harassment, which often targets girls, may be motivated by the desire to punish or humiliate because of their sex and sexuality, or by sexual interest and bravado, to intimidate, humiliate and diminish girls Bullying. This is didst anguished from other forms Of violence because it represent a patter Of behavior rather than an isolated event Fighting, physical assault and gangs.

Fighting generally involves conflict involving two or more people where it is not easy to make distinctions between perpetrators and victims. Physical assault as in the case of an attack by one person on another driven by inflamed feelings of anger or jealousy. Gangs are more distinguished from the usual peers groups because of formal structures and rituals Homicide and Weapons in school B. Violence and Gender The Global Report on VIC also noted in some countries that there are implicit ND explicit policies in schools on corporal punishments related to gender.

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Philippines Toward a Child-Friendly Education Environment. (2018, Feb 14). Retrieved from

Philippines Toward a Child-Friendly Education Environment
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