PASAY CITY, November 19, 2019 – Led by the Department of Education (DepEd), high-level officials from various international, national and local institutions reaffirmed their commitment to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of the child on Thursday, November 14, during the opening ceremony of the 1st National Summit on Rights of the Child in Education (NSCREd).
The opening day of the first-ever NSCREd brought together stakeholders, including government officials, DepEd personnel from all regions, and international and private partners as they expressed their commitment to uphold child’s rights in education in front of around 600 delegates, including children themselves.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture in the Upper House, spearheaded the wave of support from the different branches of government for the DepEd-led initiative, which coincided with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the 27th National Children’s Month.
“While I manifest my unwavering commitment, these legislative priorities, in order to live up to the vision of the Convention [of the Rights of the Child], I need you, the entire village, to open doors of boundless opportunities as we respect, protect, and fulfill the right of every Filipino child,” Sen. Gatchalian said.
Other government officials who stated their support for the cause were Congressman Roman Romulo, Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) Executive Director Usec. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy, Philippine Deputy Permanent Representativeto UN H.E. Maria Teresa Almojuela, National President of League of Municipalities Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson, and Supreme Court Assistant Court Administrator Gina Ignacio.
From the private sector, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) President Dr. Lourdes Sese, Philippine Business for Social Progress Executive Director Reynaldo Antonio Laguda, ABS-CBN Host and Bantay Bata 163 Program Director Jing Castaneda, and Stairway Foundation Executive Director Lars Jorgenssen also delivered their statement of commitments.
DepEd OIC-Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Josephine Maribojoc said that the coming together of people and organizations from the local, national, andinternational institutions to the Summit showedsynergy in upholding the rights of every child.
“We hope to be able to identify successes and challenges in upholding the various rights of the child in relation to education with a view to building on these successes and responding to the challenges through a whole-of-society approach, which necessarily includes the participation of children as rights-holders,” Maribojoc said.
The two-day Summit gathered children and adults, as rights-holders and duty-bearers respectively, to discuss the CRC and rights-based education (RBE), which consists of the right to access to education,right to quality education, and right to respect in the learning environment.
The participants were privileged to listen to Ms. Mikiko Otani, a member and independent expert of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, discuss the CRC. Ms. Isy Faingold, Chief of Education Section of UNICEF Philippines, presented the rights-based approach to education. Children participants, meanwhile, experienced child rights e-learning sessions provided by Stairway Foundation.
Hosted by DepEd, the inaugural NSCREd was conducted in partnership with UNICEF Philippines, Save the Children Philippines, CWC, Plan International, Child Protection Network, and Ateneo Human Rights Center.