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DepEd reminds schools of ban on cellphone use

GUIDANCE. DepEd Information Officer Mayflor Marie of Department of Education discusses the agency’s child protection policy. Photo by Danica Caballero

LEGAZPI CITY --- Amid reports about cyberbullied students, the Department of Education in Bicol has reiterated the need for all public and private schools to implement a cell phone and personal electronics policy that requires students to turn off their devices and put them away when entering the classroom.

Mayflor Marie Jumamil, DepEd-5 information officer, said DepEd had already issued an order regarding the ban on personal electronic gadgets use in schools in the wake of reports that some students in the region had been bullied online.

Jumamil said the majority of bullying incidents involved junior and senior high school students who apparently had been influenced by bullies in the social media.

Nonetheless, Jumamil downplayed the extent of the problem in Bicol schools, saying “if we were to consider, it’s just a small number of cases.”

Jumamil said DepEd-5 had been working also with the Parents Teachers Associations to strictly monitor and guide the students to use social media properly.

Students involved in bullying—victims and bullies—as well as other parties who may be affected by the bullying incident are provided with counseling to enhance their psychological, emotional and psychosocial well-being, she said.

Jumamil also reminded all elementary and secondary schools that they are required to establish a child protection committee (CPC) that will to prevent—not just react to—incidents of child abuse in schools.

The CPC should initiate awareness campaign against all forms of abuse among students and ensure that all cases of abuse are closely monitored and investigated expeditiously, she said.

CPC is composed of school head, guidance councilor, and representatives of the teachers, parents, students, and the office of the Punong Barangay.

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