PASIG CITY, December 07, 2022 – In line with the celebration of the 2022 National Children’s Month, the Department of Education (DepEd) emphasized interventions on learners’ mental health and wellbeing during the 4th National Summit on the Rights of the Child in Education on November 26 at Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex.

Tiyakin natin na may mga programang naglulutas sa mga problema at hinaing ng mga mag-aaral ukol sa kanilang kalusugang pangkaisipan. Nais ng inyong Department of Education na tugunan ang mga isyung ito upang makasigurong handa ang mga paaralan at ang ating mag-aaral na ipagpatuloy ang maayos na pag-aaral,” Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Jose Arturo De Castro noted.

With the theme “Pagtataguyod sa Karapatan, Kalidad na Edukasyon, at Kalinga para sa Kabataang Pilipino”, the annual DepEd event was spearheaded by various members of the agency’s Executive and Management Committee members, and external partners.

For the Karapatan Plenary Presentation, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Amanda Marie Nograles, J.D focused on highlighting the existing international and national laws that ensure and promote the rights and safety of the learners in acquiring quality basic education.

The said session discussed provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Republic Act No. 11036 or the Mental Health Act, and Republic Act No. 115109, known as the Alternative Learning System Act, among others.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction Alma Ruby Torio and Director IV for Planning Service Roger Masapol noted the implementation of the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030 and the Learning Recovery and Continuity Plan (LRCP) during the Kalidad Plenary Presentation.

Furthermore, the second plenary presentation noted the significance of DepEd Order No. 31, series of 2022, known as Child Rights Policy: Adopting the Rights-based Education Framework in Philippine Basic Education, which would be vital in ensuring the quality and accessibility of the Philippine basic education system after the pandemic.

The third Plenary Presentation on Kalinga was about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns on the mental and psychosocial well-being of the learners, which was facilitated by Save the Children Foundation and School Health Division’s Chief Health Program Officer Dr. Ma. Corazon Dumlao.

During this session, the resource speakers focused on the provisions of the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, which will be vital in tackling the mental health issues faced by the learners and teachers during the pandemic.

Following the plenary sessions, official statements and messages of support and commitment, and call to action to duty-bearers were shared by Undersecretary De Castro, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Amanda Marie F. Nograles, Director IV for Public Affairs Service Atty. Michael Wesley T. Poa, and DepEd NCR Regional Director Wilfredo E. Cabral.

In support of the 4th National Summit on the Rights of the Child in Education, Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer and Former DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, Atty. Alberto T. Muyot, reaffirmed the commitment of Save the Children Philippines.

“Save the Children Philippines affirms its commitment in pursuing DepEd’s rights-based education framework in our education programs and advocacies, so all Filipino children can attain and enjoy their rights to access inclusive and quality education, and their right to respect and well-being in the learning environment,” Save the Children Philippines CEO Muyot said.

Before the culminating program, the Department conducted a Pre-Summit Conference, which highlighted the participation and perspective of the children on the rights in education of the learners.