October 7, 2022

The teacher in Kalinga, who was seen in a viral video repeatedly hitting her students for failing to answer solving problems in Math, has previous cases of abuse according to the Department of Education-Kalinga.

DepEd-Kalinga Superintendent Amador Garcia said based on their initial investigation, the teacher was involved in similar cases of abuse during the meeting of the teacher and the two students with barangay officials, elders, teachers, and parents.

He said there were incidents of abuse allegedly made by the teacher as far as nine and five years ago. The teacher went on leave following the incident.

“Nagsisisi at humihingi siya ng tawad, hindi na ganoon kadaling gawin dahil nag-viral na ang video. Nagpa-patulong na rin siya sa mga taong pwede nyang lapitan para mapagaan sana kung anuman ang parusa sa kanya,” Garcia said.

He said the Division Office also gave the proper avenues for the teacher to give her defense and to avail the services of a legal counsel.

As of press time, no formal complaint has been filed yet by the aggrieved parties against the teacher.
The Division Office also conducted psycho-social and guidance counseling sessions for the learners for them to recover from the trauma.

The video that went viral showed the two grade 5 learners in front, facing the blackboard, and answering Math solving problems. The teacher then came charging from behind with an angry voice scolding and verbally attacking the students for not knowing the answer, while repeatedly hitting their backs.

Garcia said each school in Kalinga has a Child Protection Committee to report cases of abuses on learners whether involving teaching or non-teaching staff or individuals.

He said an investigative body may be reconstituted depen-ding on what the situation requires and the gravity of abuses committed.

Creation of the said committee is pursuant to DepEd Order 40 s. 2012, or “The School Contextualized Child Protection Policy”, which aims to provide special protection to children who are gravely threatened or endangered by circumstan-ces which affect their normal development and over which they have no control, and assist the concerned agencies in their rehabilitation.

“(DepEd) reiterates a zero tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse,” the order stated. 

DepEd-Cordillera Information Officer Cyrille Miranda said the regional office is waiting for the final investigation report from the SDO as its basis in taking action on the teacher.

In his earlier statement, Garcia reminded teachers and non-teaching personnel to subject their words and actions to the highest ethical and professional standards at all times.

“Teachers, as public servants, must always maintain a safe and nurturing environment for students, free of physical, verbal, and other forms of abuse and discrimination. As we celebrate Teachers’ Month, DepEd continuously strengthens its policies and capacity-building activities to further promote our advocacy of protecting our learners against any form of abuse,” he said. – Ofelia C. Empian