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DepEd urged to issue new rules for field trips

THE Department of Education (DepEd) has been urged to expedite the issuance of a new set of guidelines to manage school field trips like the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) when it lifted its moratorium on educational tours and other off-campus activities in public and private higher education institutions (HEI).

“We are hoping that the DepEd will come out with their (new)set (of) guidelines on how to manage school field trips such that we can resume the hosting of field trips to elementary and high school,” said Mario Mamon, chairman and president of Enchanted Kingdom at an event sponsored by the Department of Tourism in Sta Rosa, Laguna.

Last February, CHED issued the moratorium after the fatal bus accident in Tanay, Rizal, where 14 students were killed and dozens were injured.

DepEd followed suit in March 2017 and imposed Memorandum No. 47, series 2017 to all public elementary and secondary schools until review and revision of related policies have been finalized.

In a CHED Memorandum Order signed by Chairperson Patricia Licuanan on July 25, 2017, the ban was deemed lifted and all HEIs were urged to abide by the set of policies for school trips “in order to develop holistic experience of students.”

The issuance of the memo by CHED was then lauded by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as a welcome development.

“Educational tours and field trips provide the experiential learning that complements the subjects taught in the classroom setting,” Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said.

DOT has recently initiated a national education forum summit, inviting all stakeholders from the academe, local government units, travel and tour sector, transport sector and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to discuss measures that will enable quality educational tours while providing a safe and secure environment for the students.

The summit held in Region IV-A (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or Calabarzon), resulted in the signing of a call to action for cooperation and eventually led to CHED’s lifting of the moratorium, it said.

“A continued suspension of such activity will take away the opportunity for the students to see for themselves the culture, history and natural attractions that make them appreciate their being Filipinos,” Teo pointed out.

The series of regional educational tourism forum was also held in General Santos for the Mindanao regions, in Bicol for both Regions 4-B and 5 and in Baguio City for Regions 1, 2 and 3.

Meanwhile, slated to hold their respective fora are Regions 6, 7, and 8 in Iloilo and the National Capital Region (NCR) in Manila on November 26.

“We will continue to be the bridge for these productive dialogues that can improve the content and experience for the students when they go on field trips,” Teo said. (PNA)

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