My kids who are both students in public schools recently informed me that their respective schools have announced the conduct of field trips this February. Well, my husband and I decided not to allow them to go along as this activity is on a voluntary basis only.
To guide all public and private schools in Central Luzon, the Department of Education Regional Office III released the guidelines on the conduct of Off-Campus Activities-Educational Field Trips/Tours in consonance with DepEd Order No. 66, s. 2017, titled Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities through Regional Memorandum No. 349 s.2023.
Based on the released guidelines, "off-campus activities like educational field trips should adhere to the following as stated in the above-mentioned DepEd Order and must ensure relevance and alignment with the educational competencies of the K to 12 Curriculum and leadership development of the learners; uphold child protection principles and that no learner shall be disadvantaged in any form; and observe the safety and security protocols for all participants before, during, and after the activity."
DepEd Region III also reiterated as an additional guideline that places to be visited should be educational places, such as cultural and historical sites, art heritage, museums, scientific sites, technological firms, zoological and botanical gardens, factories, and other places which complement and supplement classroom lessons. It is suggested that the previously cited places in Central Luzon be given priority before visiting other places, so our learners do not become strangers in their own region. The film shows or movies, or documentaries which are suitable and can be great sources for learning are likewise encouraged.
Additionally, the guidelines state that "students who could not join the field trip should be given activities in school to compensate for their inability to join the field trip. There should be no punitive measures or activities such as tests related to the trip, that will put the students who could not join the field trip at a disadvantage; and as much as possible, field trips should not put an additional burden on the parents and learners. Possible sponsors or other sources can be tapped for the purpose like local government units, civic organizations, and Parents-Teachers Associations to help fund educational field trips and arrange for a group of student discounts to reduce the burden on learners."
I hope that through this column, I am able to shed light and provide clarifications to my fellow parents who have children in schools that proposed the conduct of field trips and off-campus activities.