25, 2013

NR # 3026

Solon seeks ban on compulsory and distant field trips
In the aftermath of recent tragic field trip incidents, a lawmaker has called on school authorities to ban compulsory and distant field trips for the safety of students and to spare parents from paying costly excursion expenses. Rep. Pedro Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin) directed his call to the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) after seven people, including two students and two teachers of the Marinduque State College, who just finished a field trip in Baguio City died when their bus collided with a 14-wheerler truck along Marcos Highway in Benguet last Thursday. Earlier on February 8, a bus ran over two high school students of Holy Spirit Academy during a field trip at Camp Mateo Capinpin, killing one of them. “I don’t see the wisdom of requiring field trips. During our time, we did not have field trips, but we managed to learn a lot in school,” said Romualdo, a Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Justice. He said requiring students to travel far exposes them to accidents and also imposes additional financial burden on parents who have to shoulder their children’s numerous travel expenses like fare, board and lodging, and allowances. Romualdo further said it was questionable why school authorities have to choose distant destinations when field trips can be done in nearer areas that offer the same learning experience to students. “For example in our province, why should our students need to travel to as far as Cebu when they can just go to Misamis Oriental or Cagayan de Oro? Choosing faraway destinations only turns students into tourists. What’s the purpose of these field trips?" he said. Even while he was a governor, Romualdo said he was against field trips because of the financial burden they entail on parents. A lot of parents were forced to solicit from his office because they could not afford the costly field trips of their children, according to him. “I don’t want parents to solicit money to pay for their children’s field trips. Who is earning from these field trips at the expense of students and parents? On the part of students, they are forced to join the field trips otherwise they will flunk in their subject or course,” said Romualdo. Romualdo said back then, he wrote to the DepEd and CHED officials to ban field trips for the welfare of students and parents. (30) rbb

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