DepEd-World Vision partnership to train teachers on anti-child labor advocacy

Published by rudy Date posted on January 1, 2009

The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with World Vision Development Fund (WVDF) for the training of public school teachers on anti-child exploitation advocacy.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the tie-up with WVDF is projected to benefit some 30,000 child laborers.

“Through this training, our teachers will be better equipped to empower the working children, out-of-school youth, and children at risk and help improve the quality of their lives,” said Lapus.

The program has identified Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Cebu, Compostela Valley, Davao, Davao del Sur, Iloilo, Leyte, Negros Occidental, and Negros Oriental as priority areas due to the high prevalence of the worst forms of child labor in the regions.

The first batch of 40 public school teachers are now undergoing a five-month skill enhancement training at the Ecotech complex in Lahug Cebu City. The training started last Dec. 2 and will end on May 22, 2009.

The training, funded by the WVDF, is designed to enhance the teachers’ capacity in five aspects of social development, namely: research, advocacy, networking, direct service and documentation.

The training series will develop among the teachers a deeper understanding of the child labor issue and the importance of education as intervention.

It is part of the ABK2 Initiative or “Pag-aaral ng mga Bata Para sa Kinabukasan”. Its project associates include Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) and Education Research Development Assistance Foundation (ERDA).

Elnora Avarientos, WVDF executive director, noted that child labor in the Philippines was particularly rampant in commercial agriculture (sugarcane plantation), domestic work, pyrotechnics business, mining, quarrying, sexual exploitation and scavenging.

DepEd has vigorously pursued non-traditional programs to bring children back to school specially those burdened by difficult circumstances. Part of DepEd’s commitment is to increase the participation and retention rates of public school children.

Daphne Culanag, project director of the ABK2 Initiative, said that the project hopes to train 500 teachers and 200 para-teachers within the project life until 2011.

There is also an expected rollout or replication of the training series to other teachers in the districts and/or communities of the participants to broaden the network of child rights advocates.

“We hope that these education initiatives radiates to other communities and engage everyone in building a community without child labor,” she stressed.

ABK Initiative is a four-year funded project by the United States Department of Labor that aims to contribute to the sustainable reduction of exploitative child labor in the Philippines.–Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star

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