By Nova Veraley V. Grafe and Princess T. Abellon
THE MORATORIUM ON field trips that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) imposed last school year concerning the bus accident in Tuba, Benguet, which claimed the lives of several students and faculty members from Marinduque State College (MSC), has made the Silliman University administration to take-up some actions regarding the university’s field trip policy.
Mark Raygan Garcia, director of the Office of Information and Publications, the university is not prohibiting fieldtrips. “The policy of the university is that [fieldtrips] have to be part of the academic curriculum,” he said.
The moratorium by CHED last school year was in effect to review the policy on fieldtrips particularly by public schools.
“But, what the university did was to take the initiative to also review its own policy. Again, we cannot just say yes to all requests for our students to go on a field trip,” Garcia cleared out.
Garcia also added that the university has to take some considerations on whether a field trip should be approved or not. Fieldtrips have to be a part of the academic curriculum, the venues must be safe and parents must be made aware of the budget.
Starting this school year, field trips that will be approved by the university will have to be incorporated into the academic curriculum. Students from the different colleges in the university should be made aware of the field trip, not only when they’re enrolling, but also in their syllabus and curriculum.
“You need to secure a permit from the Office of Student Services and that permit would be endorsed by your dean and then forwarded to the office of the Vice President for the Academic Affairs,” Garcia explained.
The university’s policy on field trips has been practiced in the past. This school year a new requirement for field trips was incorporated explicitly in the curriculum. “Because it’s for [the students] advantage, it’s really to help the students and their parents budget their funds at the start of the school year, because we don’t like field trips to be a leisure thing. Field trips should primarily be a learning facility, a learning tool,” Garcia stressed.
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