DepEd: Field trips not mandatory
The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded school officials on Wednesday that educational tours and field trips should not be made mandatory for students.
At the same time, it urged schools to check the registration and roadworthiness of vehicles that would be used to ferry their students.
The DepEd issued the reminder following Monday’s bus accident in Tanay, Rizal that left 15 dead, mostly students of Bestlink College of the Philippines. The students were on their day to a camping trip when the bus lost its brakes and hit an electric post.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) earlier imposed a moratorium on field trips in all colleges and universities pending the results of its investigation into the accident and a review of its policies on such activities.
In a memorandum issued on Wednesday, CHEd chair Patricia Licuanan instructed higher education institutions to introduce replacement activities in lieu of educational tours and external campus activities that would still serve the same purpose “and see to it that no student shall be negatively affected by this moratorium.”
In a statement, the DepEd reiterated that under its policy on field trips, no punitive measures or activities related to the outing should be imposed on students who fail to join.
Teachers must also refrain from giving tests based on these educational tours but they can assign non-participants school-based activities, it added.
DepEd Order No. 52 issued in 2003 states that during excursions, the places to be visited must be educational such as cultural and historical sites or science exhibits in museums. Trips to malls and viewing of noontime TV shows are strongly discouraged.
“No field trip should be undertaken without the written consent of the parents or guardians [and] these educational tours must be well-planned ahead of time and safety measures should be discussed with the students before the trip,” the order said.
It also urged schools to screen the vehicles and drivers hired for excursions. “Ensure that drivers have the appropriate know-how and frame of mind when on the road,” the DepEd said.
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