Using the Rights-Based Approach in Child-Friendly School

A rights-based child-friendly school is a child-seeking school. It identifies and seeks children to get them enrolled in school and be included in learning. The children or learners are the rights holder while the school faculty and staff are duty bearers.

Thus, it helps in demonstrating, promoting, and helping to monitor the rights and well-being of all children in the community. The school acts in the best interests of the child, leading to the realization of the child’s full potential, and concerned about the “whole” child and about what happens to children in their families and communities before they enter school and after they leave it, creating a life-long learning.

According to Presidential Decree no. 603, Article 3, Child and Youth Welfare Code, All children shall be entitled to the rights herein set forth without distinction as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, sex, social status, religion, political antecedents, and other factors.

(1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right to be born well.

(2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security.

The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided with the nearest substitute for a home.

(3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded development of his personality to the end that he may become a happy, useful and active member of society.

The gifted child shall be given opportunity and encouragement to develop his special talents.

The emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted child shall be treated with sympathy and understanding, and shall be entitled to treatment and competent care.

The physically or mentally handicapped child shall be given the treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, proper medical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life.

(5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.

(6) Every child has the right to an education commensurate with his abilities and to the development of his skills for the improvement of his capacity for service to himself and to his fellowmen.

(7) Every child has the right to full opportunities for safe and wholesome recreation and activities, individual as well as social, for the wholesome use of his leisure hours.

(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development.

(9) Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him an environment free from pernicious influences and conducive to the promotion of his health and the cultivation of his desirable traits and attributes.

(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State, particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with his fundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement.

(11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen his faith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both in their public and private lives.

(12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination to contribute his share in the building of a better world.

A school does not exclude, discriminate, or stereotype on the basis of difference. It provides education that is free and compulsory, affordable and accessible, especially to families and children at risk of dropping-out. The school also respects diversity and ensures equality of learning for all children (e.g., girls, working children, children of ethnic minorities and affected by HIV/AIDS, children with disabilities, victims of exploitation and violence). Responds to diversity by meeting the differing circumstances and needs of children (UNICEF, 2012).

Local partnership in education act and work for the sake of children to ensure the fulfillment of children’s rights. The community, school staff, parents, and other community members can serve as an instrument on the quality delivery of the children’s needs.

By: MARSFIFTH M. MAMAWAG, LPT
      Education Program Specialist II

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