House panel okays bill on teacher protection

MANILA A measure seeking to institute support mechanisms for public school teachers in matters of student discipline and mechanisms for classroom management, and provide for their protection against cases has been approved by a House panel.

In a press release issued Monday, the House committee on basic education and culture approved House Bill 58, otherwise known as "Teacher Protection Act", which is authored by ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio.

The bill mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue policies and principles on student discipline and classroom management, which shall govern all division-level student manuals.

The student manual shall set out, among others, the disciplinary action to be taken against students who are found to have made malicious accusations of child abuse against teachers and school staff.

Tinio said instilling discipline in the classrooms has become increasingly difficult for public school teachers, and is further aggravated by the lack of institutional support in the form of standards and the permissible and effective methods of instilling discipline.

Tinio said the bill provides that any act committed by a teacher or school staff pursuant to the disciplinary rules and procedure issued by the DepEd shall not be deemed as "child abuse."

"While child protection is indispensable, teacher protection is also a must," Tinio said.

The bill also seeks to lay down institutionalized support mechanisms for teachers and school personnel in matters of classroom management and discipline.

DepEd is also mandated to provide pre-service and in-service training for DepEd personnel on child behavior and psychology, classroom management techniques, positive discipline, and other related fields.

The measure protects teachers and school personnel in cases related to student discipline and classroom management, including legal assistance and representation by counsel and union or association representatives.

Furthermore, confidentiality of proceedings and the identity of all parties are directed. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency