Children have right to education even amid pandemic, says welfare group
MANILA, Philippines — Children have the right to education even amid the coronavirus pandemic, a group promoting children’s rights and welfare said Thursday.
Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer Alberto Muyot said the Department of Education, other concerned government agencies, and local government units (LGUs) should implement “proactive and adaptive” preparations to ensure that a child’s learning and well-being will continue despite prevailing quarantine measures in the country.
“We share the concerns of parents and guardians that children must continue learning but should remain protected from exposure to COVID-19,” he said in a statement.
According to Muyot, the government should also invest in “capacity building” for parents and guardians to support children’s learning at home.
“The rights of children to education can still be fulfilled even if schools are closed. Exploring available learning modalities may not be easy at this point but is possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sierra Paraan, basic education advisor of the group, said LGUs should allocate budget for building stable and affordable communication systems that will connect homes, schools, and barangays to assist families in providing continuous learning for children in their own households.
“Teachers and early childhood facilitators can also provide follow up support to parents and guardians in addressing the learning needs of children,” she added.
She also called on learning institutions such as the Early Childhood Care and Development Council, National Museum, and the National Council on Children’s Television to develop content for teachers and learners and to make it accessible to learners and their families.
Paraan said Parents-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and the private sector should be tapped to help in implementing education programs during the pandemic.
For children with disabilities or living in informal dwellings or who belong to Indigenous People’s communities, as well as children living in hazard-prone and conflict-affected areas, Paraan said the government should come up with learning methods that would benefit them.
“We need to invest in the new adaptive learning methods and make it work. We owe it to the Filipino children,” she stressed.
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