Understanding children, context needed in all interventions

January 11, 2017

PASAY CITY, January 11, 2017 – Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Dina Ocampo underscored the importance of context and better understanding of children in all interventions for learners.
In view of reports that the Department of Health (DoH) is already eyeing a region to pilot-test its condom distribution in schools, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones maintained that she has not received any communication from the health agency, nor has given any go signal, and that she would like to involve the entire Executive Committee (ExeCom) of DepEd in the very sensitive decision on the debated program.
Ocampo, an ExeCom member, pointed out during a press conference at the 2nd National K to 12 Conference that interventions involving children necessitates helping them understand the need for such actions that will greatly affect their lives and wellbeing.
“For example, whenever there is a need to advocate disaster-preparedness. It’s because we help them understand why we need to be prepared and what disasters are coming. In the same way that you learn algebra. You show children why it’s being learned, what it is useful for. So providing children with tools and objects such as condoms or contraceptives, require context. The children need to understand what that’s for. So if it’s only comprehensive sexuality education or reproductive health education, there are limits as to what we can do kasi yung law din may limit siya on the Department what we can implement,” the Undersecretary explained.
She further highlighted that it is important for the children to tell parents and teachers what they already know and what their questions are. The availability of responsible persons in the school to ask questions from is just as crucial.
“It will probably be a program that develops peer counselors or guidance counselors, and hopefully work with the health centers. Because it’s very unlikely for children to just say na ‘I need a condom.’ I think it is important that we are able to understand children better and understand how children will react to stressful situations, and inform them on what they can do,” Ocampo emphasized.
However, prior to preventive measures, Ocampo encouraged self-management among the youth, which involves understanding where does this need come from, how one can react to this need or the urge to have sexual relation with another, and how to manage that within oneself.
“I think mahalaga rin na, the focus lagi kasi is the pregnancy, how many girls get pregnant and so on, but we need to focus on those who will use the condom. The men, the boys who should probably learn to understand what sex is and why they should not give/impose that on anyone. Kailangan talaga is to give them opportunity to spend their energy through sports, expressive art therapies,” Ocampo added.