DepEd upholds neutrality of schools, other learning institutions as zones of peace

November 20, 2017

PASIG CITY, November 20, 2017 – On the Universal Children’s Day, the Department of Education (DepEd) underscores anew its strong commitment to maintain the neutrality of schools as zones of peace to ensure that learners and teachers are in an environment conducive to learning and free from harm.
The long-standing commitment of the Department was strengthened through the issuance of the DepEd Order No. 44, series of 2005, or the Declaration of Schools as Zones of Peace.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized that DepEd has and will always condemn all activities that endanger schools and other learning institutions, which may result in the delay of the delivery of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education to Filipino learners.
The Education chief, who has long been campaigning for this commitment, further stated, “We enjoin everyone to ensure that learners, teachers and other personnel, as well as schools and other learning institutions, are spared from any form of violence and threat at all times, especially during armed conflict.”
To better inform the public and all education stakeholders, schools were instructed to post the official tarpaulin indicating schools as zones of peace.
Moreover, DepEd has been actively campaigning for the Philippines to sign the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict.
The SSD was crafted and developed through consultations among various states as “an inter-governmental political commitment that provides countries the opportunity to express support for protecting students, teachers, schools, and universities from attack during times of armed conflict; the importance of the continuation of education during armed conflict; and the implementation of concrete measures to deter the military use in schools.”