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DepEd to create cyberbullying advocacy program for NCR

Photo: Unsplash/Thomas Park

Amid its move toward blended learning, the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR) will be launching an advocacy program on cyberbullying to safeguard students spending more time on social media for school.

According to DepEd-NCR Director Malcolm Garma, DepEd is working closely with various children’s organizations as it prepares to officially start the program.

This is not the first time that DepEd released a similar program. In 2016, it launched anti-cyberbullying lessons for Grades 5 to 6 Junior High School students, in cooperation with a non-profit child care organization Stairway Foundation Inc. (SFI), as part of its CyberSafe project.

Another initiative under the CyberSafe project was DepEd’s “Dalir-Eskwela”, a play on the Filipino words for finger (“daliri”) and school (“eskwela”), a video series which taught learners tips on how to navigate the Internet in a safe manner. Aside from cyberbullying, the videos also discussed topics such as online chatting, online gaming addiction, as well as online pornography. The videos came with a brochure for the reference of the students’ parents and guardians.

Under Republic Act No. 10627 or the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013”, all elementary and secondary schools are required to implement policies preventing and responding to acts of bullying. The law defines cyberbullying as “any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school.”