PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure requiring schools nationwide to provide neutral desks, in an effort to address the needs of the left-handed students.
Under Republic Act (RA) 11394 or the Mandatory Provision of Neutral Desks in Educational Institutions Act, both private and public schools are obligated to produce a table or an armchair that is "suitable for both right-handed and left-handed students."
"The state recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote the equal development of students, including those who are left-handed," the law reads.
"It shall be obligatory for all educational institutions, both public and private, thay make use of armchairs in the classroom to provide neutral desks to all students," it adds.
Schools are directed to make available neutral desks for 10 percent of the student population within a year of the law's effectivity.
They will then be eventually mandated to provide neutral desks to all students.
The Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are tasked to formulate the rules and regulations, including administrative penalties for schools' non-compliance.
RA 11394, signed by Duterte on August 22, takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper.
A copy of the law was released by Malacañang just on Wednesday, August 28. (SunStar Philippines)