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BARMM teachers train in child labor prevention

School teachers from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) received training on Project SCREAM, “Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media,” to equip them with the knowledge to prevent child labor in the Bangsamoro region. (Photo: PIA Cotabato City)

COTABATO CITY (PIA) -- More than 30 school teachers from this city underwent training to prevent child labor in the Bangsamoro region.

The training was conducted as part of the rollout of Project SCREAM or “Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media.” 

Project SCREAM is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People (IRDT), and the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).

Sara Jane Sinsuat, director of MOLE’s Bureau of Employment, Promotion and Welfare, explained that through this project, school teachers and educators are able to increase their knowledge and skills to promote understanding and awareness about child labor.

“Kakaiba ito kasi ang ita-tap natin ay yung mga teacher, knowing na yung mga teacher ay may mga estudyante at nakikita nila kung ano ‘yung nangyayari sa mga bata [This is unique because the ones that we tap are the teachers, who have students and they see what is happening to these children]," Sinsuat said.

Generally, the project aims to address child labor, promote a culture of respect for children's rights, and strengthen the worldwide movement against the said issue, she added.

Sinsuat also shared 14 project modules of SCREAM, centered on the children’s health and protection from forced employment.

The modules will also serve as tools that can be incorporated by the teachers into their lesson plans or used as part of a year-long education program in schools.

“Inaasahan natin na from here, magkakaroon ng integration sa pagtuturo nila. So meaning, mapag-uusapan sa classroom nila kung ano ‘yung child labor, bakit siya ipinagbabawal, ano ‘yung dapat na ginagawa natin at para ma-appreciate din mismo ng kabataan [We expect that from here, there will be integration of what they learned in their teaching. So meaning, they can discuss in their classroom what child labor is, why it is prohibited, what we should be doing, and so that the youth themselves can appreciate it],” Sinsuat explained.

BARMM teachers shared their insights about child labor during a workshop activity as part of the project SCREAM training rollout held in Cotabato City. (Photo: PIA Cotabato City)

Meanwhile, Rasul Ali, child protection policy coordinator of Cotabato City School’s Division and one of the participants in the training, emphasized the importance of the SCREAM project to empower children and youth to speak up and convey their message to the larger community.

He said that through Project SCREAM, children and youth may be able to channel their “creative energies in such positive and constructive ways.”

According to Ali, the modules under SCREAM will serve as a guide for educators in crafting action plans on the issues pertaining to child labor.

“Maganda ito kasi na-train kami sa mga strategy kung ano ‘yung dapat gawin para maiwasan ang child labor. Definitely, ito yung ika-cascade natin sa mga eskwelahan [This is good because we were trained in strategies on what to do to prevent child labor. Definitely, we will cascade this in schools],” he said, adding that they had actually formulated plans integrating the modules into their detailed lesson plans to maximize the implementation of the project.

Ali also said they will monitor the implementation of the project in their respective schools to ensure that the benefits of the project are implemented properly. 

Based on its Regional Action Plan Against Child Labor, the Bangsamoro government commits to stop child labor by 2030. (LTB – PIA Cotabato City)

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