The Department of Education on Saturday admitted there is a scarcity of guidance counselors to attend to the psychosocial needs and mental well-being of students.
“We find it difficult to provide guidance counselors to all public schools because of the salary grade,” DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said in a television interview following a series of violent incidents in schools this month.
“There is also no career progression unlike teachers who have Teacher 1, Teacher 2, Teacher 3 and so on. That is something we like to work on,” he added.
A 12 year-old student accidentally shot himself with a gun he brought inside the
Benito Nieto Elementary School in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan on Thursday.
Last week, a 13-year-old student died after being stabbed by a fellow student inside the Culiat High School in Quezon City.
Poa said violent incidents involving students may be related to mental health issues.
“The problem is deeper than security,” he said.
For her part, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said stricter security measures will be implemented in all Quezon City public learning institutions following the fatal stabbing of a senior high school student at Culiat High School.
Belmonte issued the directive during a consultative meeting with key officials of various city departments and stakeholders, including the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Social Services and Development Department (SSDD), Schools Division Office (SDO), Education Affairs Unit (EAU), Office of the Assistant City Administrator for Operations, QC Public School Teachers Association, QC Parent-Teachers Association, Northcom Security and Investigation Agency and barangay officials.
“While we consider this an isolated case, the incident underscored the need to come up with additional security interventions in our public learning institutions,” said Belmonte, adding that random security checks will also be conducted in schools as part of the security measures to help guarantee the safety of teachers and learners.