The Senate approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to mandate all educational institutions to provide all students with neutral desks.
Neutral desks are tables or armchairs that are suitable for both right-handed and left-handed students.
With 17 affirmative votes, zero negative and zero abstention, approved was House Bill No. 8654, otherwise known as an Act Mandating Public and Private Educational Institutions to Provide the Appropriate Armchairs for Left-Handed Students, taking into consideration Senate Bill No. 2114, otherwise known as an Act Mandating Public and Private Educational Institutions to Provide the Appropriate Armchairs for Left-Handed Students. The proposed legislations were introduced by Representative Cristina Roa-Puno and Senator Sonny Angara, respectively.
Angara said the bill aims to promote equal development of students by requiring educational institutions nationwide to provide neutral desks for all students in both public and private educational institutions.
Currently, the seasoned legislator explained, left-handed students are left without a choice but to use right-handed armchairs.
“Currently, left-handed students are left without a choice but to work with right-handed armchairs.”
Studies showed that a right-handed armchair does not offer left-handed students the same arm support that right-handed students enjoy, causing back, neck and shoulder pain to left-handed students.
According to experts, the inefficient and awkward writing position that left-handed students must make in right-handed armchairs causes slower handwriting, placing them at a disadvantage on important timed examinations.
They said thousands of left-handed school children are struggling in the classrooms because of a failure to meet their needs.
They estimate that between 10 to 15 percent of the population worldwide are left-handed.
10 to 15 percent of the population worldwide are left-handed.
Under the bill, educational institutions are mandated to provide neutral desks equivalent to 10 percent of the student population within one year from the effectivity of the act. The institutions will eventually provide all students with neutral desks.
The Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority shall be in charge of formulating the rules and regulations, including the administrative penalties for non-compliance with the act.