House boosts parent-school relationship

WITH an overwhelming majority vote, a measure that seeks to strengthen cooperation between schools and parents was approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives.

During the Wednesday virtual House plenary session, House Bill 6139 or the Parent-Teacher and Community Association Act got 209 votes.

The bill, principally authored by Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin

Romualdez and Committee on Welfare of Children chairperson and TingogSinirangan Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez  seeks to further promote the welfare and rights of children by harnessing the synergy of parents, school authorities and mentors, and the community in the youth’s upbringing and development.

The bill seeks to amend Article 77, Chapter II of Presidential Decree No.603, also known as “The Child and Youth Welfare Code”, to require government and private basic education schools to organize a PTCA.

Authors believe that the synergetic relations between home and school in child development become even more prominent in light of studies showing that such collaboration leads to a well-rounded, stable, and sociable person.

Hence, it is imperative that an integrative and coordinative mechanism for a total children and youth development program involving parents and teachers, among others, be institutionalized and enhanced.

"The PTCAs shall serve as a powerful voice for the welfare of school children, a relevant tool for engagement by their families and the communities that they live in, and a strong advocate for basic education,” the Majority Leader said.

The bill mandates the PTCA to undertake  duties and functions such: create a development program for children; ensure the full cooperation of parents, teachers, and other community stakeholders in the efficient implementation of said development programs;  consult the children at all times, through their student councils in the planning and implementations of projects and programs; serve as an avenue for local stakeholders to address children’s concerns in schools and communities;assist the municipal and other local authorities and school officials in the implementation of PTCA activities; raise awareness and support the implementations of the school’s child protection issues and policies; and assess the implementation of basic education programs, among others.

It mandates the Department of Education to formulate the rules which shall advance the purpose of the proposed Act, and ensure the compliance of basic education schools in organizing their respective PTCAs.