Education department to probe school trip that ended in 2 deaths-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
CEBU CITY -- Education officials went to the Cebu International School (CIS) Friday morning to inquire about the deaths of two Grade 8 students during a field trip in Luzon, but school officials did not give them details, saying they will release a report in due time.
Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas officer-in-charge Caridad Labe, DepEd Cebu Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud and members of the Division Investigation Committee met with the school officials.
“They told us to be patient because they are still looking into the situation. The school is doing its own investigation,” Labe told Sun.Star Cebu.
She said that DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro instructed her to look into the matter. She would not say whether the school can be held liable for what happened, saying she will have to wait for the school’s report.
CIS officials also met with parents on Friday but the details of the meeting were not revealed to the media.
In a television interview, Paula Ruela, head of the CIS Marketing and Public Relations Office, said the school is providing counseling for their students, teachers and parents.
“We now have on-site counselors ready to give professional advice to the students, parents, teachers and staff,” she said.
“Our main priority is to communicate to the whole community and make everyone understand the situation,” Ruelan added.
Kyle David Gullas Weckman, a grandson of former congressman Jose “Dodong” Gullas, and his Korean classmate Jae Hak “James” Jung drowned while swimming in the Kariukan Falls in Morong, Bataan last Wednesday.
Weckman and Jung were among the 41 teenagers who joined the field trip.
Labe said they will check whether the school followed the rules in conducting field trips.
“The number one rule is that there should be a written consent from the parents,” she said.
The school cannot impose punitive measures on students who are disallowed by their parents to join a field trip.
“The field trip should be well-planned and should supplement the classroom lesson,” Labe said.
Labe said private schools can push through with their field trips, adding that the accidental deaths of two CIS students are an isolated case.
“It will still depend on the parents if they want their children to join field trips,” she said.
Wilfredo Tano, DepEd Cebu Division supervisor in charge of private schools, said public schools are required to get a permit from the division superintendent before conducting a field trip. (RSB/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 15, 2012.