DepEd Ilocos-Norte suspends field trips

LAOAG CITY -— Public schools both in elementary and high school in Ilocos Norte have suspended the conduct of field trips in compliance with the Department of Education’s recent order holding a moratorium for a period of four months.

In view of the February 20 bus accident that killed 15 people, mostly college students on their way to a camping trip in Tanay, Rizal, the DepEd immediately issued the suspension of educational tours and field trips in the province as a precautionary measure.

Though holding of educational tours and field trips is not mandatory, several public and private schools in the province are fond of going out of town to further expand their learning outside the four corners of a classroom.

In a phone interview with lawyer Marcial Diego, legal counsel of DepEd-Ilocos Norte, he said the moratorium is effective until June 2017 to allow its officials review and harmonize all policies and guidelines for the conduct of educational excursions.

Specifically, the review will cover alignment of field trips to learning outcomes, security and safety, and responsibilities and accountabilities not only of schools but also of parents and of other relevant government agencies.

The DepEd order, however, exempted schools that have secured earlier permits and where contracts have already been perfected prior to the moratorium, provided that existing guidelines especially on safety are strictly followed.

For an elementary grade teacher like Ailen Carlos Visaya of Bacarra town, she said they are thankful their school head have long disallowed the conduct of field trips in their school as it is more considered a burden for both parents and teachers.

According to Visaya, it is not easy to handle students during field trips and not all their students can afford to pay for additional expenses during these tours.

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