BAGUIO CITY -- Anti-bullying will be among the topics in this year's Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) to be held in the province of Apayao in February, the Department of Education (Deped)-Cordillera said Friday.
“Teachers are responsible for children during field trips and meets, thus there is a need to exercise the special parental authority and responsibility over the child while under their supervision or custody,” said Joseph Estigoy, CARAA regional screening and accreditation committee member, during the briefing on the implementation of the child protection policy in the sports event.
Estigoy said the inclusion of anti-bullying in child’s protection policy of the department seeks to remind coaches and teachers not to take advantage of their positions to abuse or exploit athletes and students.
Under DepEd Order No. 40-2012, the department promotes zero tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other related offenses.
This also includes any form of violence against the children committed in school, or giving of corporal punishments, being prohibited acts.
He said that bullying incidents should be reported immediately to the school personnel.
Estigoy's remarks were echoed by Georaloy Palao-ay of the DepEd Cordillera Public Affairs Office.
“We are reminding our coaches to instill among the athletes the value of respect for each other’s rights regardless of their opinion, status, gender, ethnicity, religion, as well as moral and physical integrity, especially in these kind of big sports events where bullying is rampant,” Palao-ay said.
“DepEd has zero tolerance on cases of child abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying, and other forms of abuse," he stressed.
Palao-ay also noted that short lectures on disaster preparedness, crime prevention, and drug abuse will also be given as part of the department's move to help students acquire life skills, aside from winning medals in their respective sports events.
He underscored that the holding of life skills activities will correct the impression that sports events hamper students' learning.
"We would like to remove the notion that if you are an athlete, you are just enhancing your skills in your sports event, and does not learn anything," he explained.
The officer also mentioned that the youth formation officers that will be assigned in billeting schools during the sports event will come up with modules, which encompass drug awareness, anti-bullying, and disaster preparedness skills.
"We will coordinate with the Local Government of Apayao, their men in uniforms to help us with this move. At least the time of our athletes will be maximized during their participation in the said sports event," Palao-ay said. (PNA)
Photo from PSST.ph