January 12, 2022— The Department of Education (DepEd), through its Legal Affairs strand, highlighted the different initiatives of the agency in promoting and implementing rights-based education (RBE) for this year.

In her year-end report during the DepEd General Assembly, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Josephine Maribojoc highlighted the advocacy of the agency to develop happy, well-rounded, and smart children enjoying their rights in school, learning centers, and other learning environments through the RBE.

RBE promotes three dimensions: the right to access to education, the right to quality education, and the right to respect in the learning environment which includes the right to identity and non-discrimination, right to be heard and to participate, and the right to protection against all forms of violence and abuse.

“Much has been done but there is still so much work to do. Sa ngalan po ng mga batang pinaglilingkuran ng Legal Affairs Strand, maraming salamat sa inyong pakikipagtulungan upang maitaguyod ang mga karapatan ng bata at kabataan sa edukasyon,” Usec. Maribojoc said.

At the start of 2021, the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs (OULA) also spearheaded the creation of the Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe) through DepEd Order No. 003 s. 2021.

CREDe, along with the Child Protection Unit (CPU), is tasked to uphold the rights of children to accessible and quality basic education and to protect them from all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, and any other act that hinders children from exercising their constitutional and international rights.

DepEd has introduced CREDE and CPU, which employ a whole-of-school, whole-of-DepEd, whole-of-government, and whole-of-society approach in calling on all education stakeholders as duty-bearers to uphold the rights of every child, especially in the context of basic education.

Meanwhile, OULA, through CREDe, contributed to the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP), a long-term education plan covering 2022-2030, by embedding the RBE framework and making Child Rights one of the pillars of BEDP in addition to the pillars of quality, access and equity of education. The CREDe also contributed to reports of the Philippine government to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In addition, OULA, through CREDe, also successfully conducted the 3rd National Summit on the Rights of the Child in Education to advocate the rights of children to accessible and quality education and right to respect in the learning environment, with the theme “Batang May K: Karapatan ng Bata sa Edukasyon, Kasama ang Lahat sa Pagsulong!”

“We in DepEd take this opportunity to articulate and reiterate that the Department embraces rights-based education and the creation of CREDe, and the CPU is a step forward in articulating and strengthening rights-based education,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.