Is your school safe for students of diverse SOGIE? This newly launched ‘scorecard’ aims to find out
October 26, 2023 | 9:24am
MANILA, Philippines — Rights organizations dedicated to gender equality have developed a tool to help schools evaluate how well they maintain safe spaces and promote SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics) inclusion on campus.
Groups PANTAY and Pride PH launched on Monday an independent national scorecard dubbed the “Rainbow Report Card” that lays down criteria for the monitoring and evaluation of school policies and services for students of diverse SOGIESC.
The tool was developed in consultation with the Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education with the support of the Embassy of Netherlands in the Philippines.
The groups said the SOGIESC monitoring tool can help identify existing best practices and challenges for providing safe learning spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. Its pilot implementation has yet to have an exact date, but the groups said that they “hope for the immediate pilot implementation of the Rainbow Report Card in select schools.”
“These practical indicators, when used widely, could have a big impact on how institutions can better live up to gender equality standards and measures that live up to the commitment of the Philippines to provide quality and accessible education to all,” said the Netherlands’ Ambassador to the Philippines Marielle Geraedts.
The Rainbow Report Card scores schools on the level of SOGIESC inclusion on campus by evaluating them across seven categories:
- school policies that establish protective mechanisms for LGBTQIA+ students
- inclusive learning environment and the use non-stigmatizing teaching methods
- gender sensitivity awareness among academic staff
- gender-inclusive health services
- mechanisms to ensure students’ safety from sexual violence
- empowerment and right to organize for students of diverse SOGIESC
- acceptance and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
To define the basic indicators of SOGIESC inclusion, rights groups conducted a series of consultations with queer and allied students, teachers and non-teaching staff, school administrators, and representatives from key government agencies.
The scorecard was initially tested in five schools selecting a mix of public and private, tertiary and secondary, and sectarian and nonsectarian educational institutions.
PANTAY said that the project is “more than just an assessment” as the group also aims to provide technical assistance to schools in helping them improve gender equality and inclusion on campus.
Following an evaluation of SOGIESC inclusion in schools, PANTAY will offer recommendations that school administrators can use to achieve reforms in all aspects of their policies, programs, and practices.
“Any issues or concerns arising during the project’s implementation will be addressed, and the recommendations will be voluntarily adopted by the school administration through various channels within the institution,” the group said.