After CHEd, DepEd also suspends field trips
Taking a leaf from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to suspend field trips in all public schools for the rest of the school year to give way to a review of existing policies covering the educational excursions.
The moratorium, effective until June 2017, will also give DepEd officials time to harmonize implementing details of the regions’ policies and guidelines on field trips, according to a department statement on Wednesday.
The decision was reached after a consultation with regional directors in a meeting with Education Secretary Leonor Briones, according to Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo.
The suspension of educational tours was prompted by the Feb. 20 bus accident that killed 15 people, mostly college students who were on their way to a camping trip in Tanay, Rizal.
“The review will cover alignment of field trips to learning outcomes, security and safety and responsibilities and accountabilities not only of schools but of parents and of other relevant government agencies,” the DepEd said.
Exempted from the moratorium are schools that have already secured permits and where contracts have already been completed prior the moratorium.
The agency said these schools may push through with the scheduled field trips but should strictly follow existing guidelines, especially on safety.
On Wednesday, the DepEd issued a reminder to school officials that educational tours and field trips should not be made mandatory for students. It also called on schools to check the registration and roadworthiness of vehicles that would be used for such tours.
DepEd Order No. 52 issued in 2003 prohibits schools from imposing punitive measures or activities related to the field trip on students who fail to join. It also urges teachers to refrain from giving tests based on these tours.
Meanwhile, the CHED moratorium on field trips does not cover student internship and on-the-job training programs.
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