School trips will now be organized only if relevant to course curriculum

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CBSE decides to stop school trips until and unless they are not related to the course study of the students and therefore students should now say no goodbye to funtrips.

Each year a fun trip is organized in schools at places like the beach, hill stations or even Nasa and Disneyland. These trips for long have been masqueraded as study trips. This year the Central Board of Secondary Education sends a circular to the Principals of the school to arrange school trips only if they are need based and relevant to curriculum. The circular was sent to principals of the school across the country and it also declared the safety guidelines for study tours.

The 11 instructions of the curriculum said that the head of the institution should ensure that the tour undertaken is required for the benefit of students and is related to the curriculum of the course in which such students are enrolled.

The need for this rule arises as a safety from natural calamity. As per sources, tragedies, like the Beas river one in June in which 24 engineering students from Hyderabad were washed away after authorities released water from a reservoir without knowing that students were visiting the place, made CBSE officials feel the need to issue instructions to educational institutions.

Affordability is another issue. Sources also said that the board officials are also worried about the subtle discrimination that arises from the selective nature of the foreign trips which only few students’ families can afford.

Safety measures in the curriculum include rules like keeping parents/guardians always in the loop about visa process and travel itinerary. Getting a no objection certificate signed by the parents is also a must. The senior teacher and lady teacher for girls group should also come along. The circular also instructs schools to hire a local tour operator aware of the conditions, ensure that teachers stay abreast of news such as the safety situation and infectious disease alerts and swear in an undertaking to help students in case of an emergency.

Academics said the threat of parents taking schools to court made them unwilling to take students on trips. Many schools have stopped taking schoolchildren on field trips or picnics so as to not be held accountable for any eventuality.

Some also agreed that the school does not wants to take any risk these days. Educational consultant K R Maalathi says that there is no need to stop trips. One only needs to take precautions.

There is no doubt that safety is of utmost importance. But we should not have to restrict tours based on their relevance to the curriculum says P Vishnucharan, correspondent of Shree Niketan Patasala School.

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