DepEd Urged To Ban Field Trips After Freak Accident Kills Coed

MANILA, Philippines --- The Department of Education (DepEd) was once again urged to ban educational field trips in both public and private elementary and secondary schools after another high school student died during field trip last week.

Ray Ramirez, the father of 14-year-old Rio Bianca who was declared dead on arrival Capitol Medical Center after a bus ran over her, said that DepEd should consider "banning the conduct of educational field trip especially if it's not part the curriculum."

Reports said that aside from Ramirez, 15-year-old Pamela Enriquez also remains injured when a bus ran over them during a field trip at Camp Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal last Friday. Both were students of Holy Spirit Academy of Malolos in Bulacan.

DepEd has reiterated that while educational field trips are allowed, it not compulsory. In an earlier statement, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said DepEd said that is conducting a study when it comes to its policy currently present under DepEd Order No. 52 series of 2003 to ensure the safety of the students.

"We don't think it's wise to ban them totally," Luistro said. "We may again issue clearer guidelines on what types of trips may be allowed and strictly implement guidelines on safety and adult supervision," he added.

Based on the existing Order, places to visit during field trips should "be educational places such as cultural and historical sites or science exhibits in museums which complement or supplement classroom lessons." Field trips, as stated in the DepEd Order, should be "well planned ahead of time with the students so they will know exactly what to look for in the field trip" and "safety measures should be discussed before the field trip."

In September last year, two international school students of Cebu International School (CIS) were reportedly drowned at a waterfall in Bataan during an outreach program. Some parents have been appealing to ban field trips, particularly those that are conducted out-of-town, to ease financial burden and to ensure the safety of their children.