The National Assembly passed a set of revisions aimed at improving teachers’ rights during a plenary session on Thursday.
The four revisions, collectively known as the “teachers' rights restoration bills”, aim to strengthen the criteria to hold teachers accountable for child abuse, while providing grounds for the schools and education offices to protect them from disgruntled parents or unruly students.
One of the revised bills which aims to raise the status of teachers and protect their activities was passed unanimously with all two-hundred-86 lawmakers present at the plenary session.
Under this bill, a teacher cannot be relieved from their duties without a proper reason even if they face child abuse allegations. The bill also prohibits principals from playing down or covering up activities that encroach on educational activities.
The move comes as teachers’ deaths sparked nationwide criticism that the country’s school system and its related laws failed to protect teachers’ authority in schools, and that it prevented them from taking necessary disciplinary measures fearing accusations of child abuse.
The bill that seeks revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act bans guardians of students from violating the human rights of teachers or students and stipulates that the principal will be charged with dealing with complaints filed against the school.
The key of the revision to the Early Childhood Education act is that justified guidance by teachers will not be regarded as child abuse.
The revision to the Basic Education Act focuses on having guardians, including parents, cooperate and respect schools’ justified educational activities.
A controversial provision which would allow teachers to leave a record of students who infringe upon their rights during school was not included after the two parties failed to reach an agreement.