DepEd to schools: Check 'roadworthiness' of buses for field trips
MANILA, Philippines – Following the Tanay bus accident that killed at least 15 people, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, February 22, reminded schools and parents that educational field trips are not mandatory and only meant to supplement classroom learning.
Iin a statement Wednesday, the DepEd also urged schools to "verify the proper registration and roadworthiness of the buses or the vehicles to be used" while making sure the drivers in charge "have the appropriate know-how and frame of mind when on the road."
At least 15 people were killed after a bus traveling along Sitio Bayucan in Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, crashed into an electric post on Monday, February 20. (READ: Lawmakers seek investigation into Tanay bus crash)
The bus was taking around 50 students from Bestlink College of the Philippines to a camping trip in Tanay. (READ: Relatives seek justice after Tanay bus accident)
DepEd's Order 52 series of 2003 instructs all public and private elementary and high schools not to impose any "punitive measures or activities" related to the trip that will put non-participating students at a disadvantage.
Teachers must not conduct tests based on these field trips, and students who can't join must be given activities in school. The DepEd also reiterated that any field trip requires a written consent from the parents or the student's guardians.
In addition, such trips must be "well-planned ahead of time with the students," with safety measures discussed beforehand.
What field trips are considered educational? According to DepEd, places such as cultural and historical sites are educational, as well as science exhibits in museum. The department discouraged trips to malls and going to noon-time TV shows.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Tuesday, February 21, decided in its en banc to impose a moratorium on all field trips and educational tours in all higher education institutions following the Tanay bus accident. – Rappler.com