The Department of Education (DepEd) said broadcaster Raffy Tulfo has no right to bypass the policy in processing a DepEd teacher case against maltreatment of a student.
On Sunday, DepEd said Tulfo forcing the teacher to quit her job is against the government’s policy. Pressuring her to quit is a deprivation of her rights to due process.
The on-air confrontation on Tulfo’s “Tulfo in Action” program was a “move for on-the-spot compromise” since it negotiated the teacher’s resignation in exchange for the non-filing of complaints against her, said DepEd.
Moreover, DepEd said that “incidents of child abuse are not subject to compromise,” citing the rules in their Child Protection Policy.
“Teachers are entitled to due process, which was not given to her during the program,” it added.
Department of Education’s Child Protection Policy Section 20 reads:
“A complaint for child abuse, violence, exploitation or discrimination in a private school shall be filed with the School Head/Chief Executive Officer and shall be acted upon pursuant to the school’s rules of procedures on administrative cases. The penalty shall be that which is provided by the rules of the school, subject to the requirements of due process.”
Learners’ second parents
“Schools are second home to learners, while teachers are their second parents. We entrust our children to the institution and teachers,” DepEd said.
The CCTV footage showed that Melita Limjuco is forcing a Grade 2 student to sit outside the classroom as a punishment for not bringing a required report card.
Parents of the involved student agreed to have Limjuco’s license to be revoked.
However, DepEd added in their statement that the resignation of the teacher would have a major impact on her and her family as well.
Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition called for policy reforms on addressing similar issues, which they called “teacher-shaming.”
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla assured public that DepEd handles the case, although disclosing of details pertaining to the investigation proceedings is strictly prohibited.
The department said that schools empower their Parent-Teacher networks to further establish mutual understanding between the two.
“Even prior to the airing of the television program, there was already a meeting between the parents of the learner and the teacher before the school head, and it is best for this process to continue,” DepEd said, noting that schools empower Parent-Teacher networks to maintain and further promote trust, respect, and dignity among the two.
“[DepEd] will be organizing a dialogue with representatives of the media to exchange perspectives on the handling of issues involving students, teachers and schools,“ the department added.