Children's rights advocacy group lauds Filipino teachers

MANILA — A children's rights and welfare advocacy group on Thursday lauded Filipino teachers for their life-changing support to instill the values of respect, tolerance and human rights to children.

In a statement issued in time for the National Teacher's Month celebration, Albert Muyot, Save the Children Philippines chief executive officer, said teachers are critical partners in shaping the minds of children to become responsible individuals.

“Next to parents, teachers play an important role in protecting the rights of children against discrimination, physical abuse and gender-based violence,” Muyot said.

He said teachers spend the most number of hours with young people from preschool to college that are considered the most crucial years of a child’s life.

Save the Children partners with teachers in promoting Early Childhood Development programs that ensure children are physically and emotionally healthy, and intellectually curious to prepare them for school success.

Teachers also influence young minds on the value of health and nutrition by eating the right kind of food in school – where they spend more than six hours a day, Muyot said.

Adolescent girls also learn from their teachers the importance of reproductive health, self-respect and positive attitude towards sexuality.

“Even with the popularity of social media, teachers remain the biggest influencers to children because classroom lessons are taken as gospel truth,” Muyot added.

Muyot, a former undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), lauded the department’s initiative to integrate the principles of gender equality, equity, sensitivity and tolerance in the basic curricula.

He also cited the country’s 700,000 public school teachers as the most trusted public servants. (PR)