Edusentro | On addressing discrimination | February 9, 2021 – As the government institution mandated to protect and promote quality, equitable, culture-based, and complete basic education, the Department of Education (DepEd) does not tolerate discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation. Guided by international and national frameworks on equality, we have released various issuances and conducted series of trainings to uphold a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination.
In this line, we would like to shed light on a Nueva Vizcaya case wherein a locally-developed document wrongly depicted Igorots. Our internal investigation showed that this draft document was still undergoing quality assurance procedures but was mistakenly reproduced in good faith by some school personnel. We would like to emphasize though that this erroneous document was not distributed to learners since the field offices concerned, upon learning about the incident, immediately withdrew the said document from circulation.
Discrimination should have no place in our society. Our journey to ensure that our education promotes equality and respect for each other still has a long way to go and the Department is committed to do its part to eliminate discriminatory practices in schools and offices. Mechanisms are in place in the Department to police such acts. For modules and other learning materials, the public may send their complaint to DepEd Error Watch.
Nonetheless, we believe that this issue is not DepEd’s duty to advocate alone. We will need the help and support of our other government institutions, local government units, media, sectoral leaders, community members, parents, and other stakeholders to create a safer, more respectful environment for our children.