LCP Mario Dionisio Jr.
Despite the pandemic, around fifty (50) educators from the DepEd MIMAROPA Region were able to attend a Child Protection Webinar held last July 16 thru Google Meet. The participants were composed of School Heads in Elementary and High School within the Region, Guidance Counselors, Child Protection Specialists and Focal Persons of Schools on Child Protection. Organized by the DepEd MIMAROPA Region in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Manila South, the webinar was made possible giving more emphasis on the DepEd’s Child Protection Policy which promotes the conduct of campaigns and capability building activities focused on the prevention of all forms of child abuse, promotion of positive and non-violent discipline, conflict resolution and peer mediation.
During the three (3) hours session, I served as a Resource Person and talked about issues pertaining to Children at Risk (CAR) and Children in Conflict of the Law (CICL) in the Education Setting. To help the participants fully understand the twin concepts of CAR and CICL, the salient features of RA 9344, as amended, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act were initially discussed to them. Thereafter, the following topics were comprehensively tackled: 1) The DepEd Guidelines in Handling CAR and CICL; (2) Pertinent Provisions of RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse; and (3) Jurisprudence involving educators in child abuse cases.
To emphasize the learnings during the Webinar, concrete examples and pointers were provided to the participants on how they can observe and properly implement the law to ensure a secure and healthy learning environment for their students. They were highly attentive on the subject and very receptive of the information conveyed. Thus, during the open forum, they asked several questions pertaining to actual situations which they encountered in their respective schools. One said that the topic was not only interesting but also very relevant to them as they act in loco parentis to their students as educators. Due to popular demand, the copy of the slide presentation utilized during the Webinar was shared to them since the participants wanted to echo their learnings to their respective schools and cascade what they have learned to their colleagues in the education sector.
The webinar only shows that even school administrators and personnel strive to pursue professional development, not only to ensure the best learning outcomes for their students but also to be more effective in the performance of their functions. Indeed, it is so rewarding to be an educator, more so when you are the one educating them. The experience was truly fulfilling and a life-changing.