The Department of Education (DepEd), in a press release on Wednesday, reiterated that school field trips and educational tours are not mandatory.
A tourist bus carrying at least 50 students from Bestlink College of the Philippines met into a road mishap in Tanay, Rizal on Monday, killing 15 and injuring several more, while en route to a camping as part of their National Service Training Program (NSTP).
The students were allegedly “forced” to come to the school event to avoid failing grades. Parents were allegedly let to sign a waiver.
DepEd is reminding parents, school officials and personnel that while educational field trips are meant to supplement classroom learning, joining such is not mandatory.
Schools “verify the proper registration and road-worthiness of the buses or vehicles to be used, and ensure that the drivers have the appropriate know-how and frame of mind when on the road”, the Department urged school heads.
The DepEd also reminded schools that no punitive measures or activities related to tue trip, which will put students who could not join the trip at a disadvantage, shall be imposed as stated in its issuance Department Order No. 52, series of 2003. In this regard, teachers must refrain from conducting tests based on these field trips, but students shall be given activities in school as substitute for not joining the trip.
Pursuant to same department order, it is mandated that “no field trip should be undertaken without the written consent of the parents of the student’s guardian(s).” These educational tours must be well-planned ahead of time with the students and safety measures should be discussed before the trip.
Places to visit must be educational, such as cultural and historical sites, or science exhibits in museums. Trips to malls and attendance at noon-time TV shows are discouraged.