January 3, 2018

DepEd Order: Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities

The Department of Education (DepEd) has released an order dated December 27, 2017 which aims to lay down the guidelines and policies when it comes to the conduct of off-campus activities in both public and private educational institutions in the country. It was signed by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.

The order was addressed to undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau and service directors, regional directors, schools division superintendents, and school heads. It's also worth mentioning here that the order lifts the ban on school field trips that was implemented last year. The order reiterated that all field trips from now on should be aligned with the educational competencies of the K to 12 Program and Curriculum.

DepEd Order No. 66, s. 2017 (Dated December 27, 2017)

Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities

To:
Undersecretaries
Assistant Secretaries
Bureau and Service Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Heads
All Others Concerned

1. In support of the K to 12 Curriculum implementation, the Department of Education (DepEd) hereby establishes the enclosed guidelines on the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activities for public and private schools.

2. All co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will adhere to the following:
a. ensure relevance and alignment with the educational competencies of the K to 12 Curriculum and leadership development of learners;
b. uphold child protection principles and that no learner shall be disadvantaged in any form; and
c. observe the safety and security protocols for all participants before, during and after the activity

3. This issuance repeals DepEd Order Nos. 87 and 52, s. 2003, 5, s. 2002 and 56, s. 2001. All other related issuances, rules, and regulations, as well as provisions which are inconsistent with this policy are hereby repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.

4. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.

Leonor Magtolis Briones (Signed)
Secretary

Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities

I. RATIONALE
The implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum by the Department of Education (DepEd) is geared toward the holistic development of the learner. As such, the DepEd recognizes the value of experiential learning as a holistic learning model through which the learner develops mastery of target competencies by first obtaining conceptual understanding, followed by its application to authentic situations, and finally reflection on the experience gained. In support of this learning process, relevant off-campus activities are being implemented by the DepEd at the different governance levels to supplement and enhance classroom-based theories and concepts with immersive activity-based learning experiences.

To ensure that these off-campus activities attain the intended purpose, DepEd recognizes the necessity of updating and improving existing guidelines into a comprehensive policy. The relevance of off-campus activities vis-à-vis the K to 12 Curriculum shall be given utmost importance in organizing such activities. At the same time, while the Department seeks to enhance the learning experience by spearheading the conduct of off-campus activities, the safety and security of all participants, namely, the learners, their parents/guardians, and DepEd personnel should be highly considered.

Given these, DepEd shall establish standards and procedures in the conduct of off-campus activities involving learners, teachers, and relevant offices in the DepEd to maximize the gains from such activity and ensure its alignment with the overall learning outcomes. Additionally, this policy aims to provide general and specific guidance pertaining to the roles of relevant stakeholders, safety and security measures, and accountability mechanisms.

II. SCOPE
This policy covers the implementation and management of co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activities in all public and private schools.

III. DEFINITION OF TERMS
For clarity and consistency, the following frequently used terms and phrases in this document shall be construed as follows:

1. Activity Head – any authorized personnel primarily responsible for the learners during an off-campus activity
2. Chaperone – a person assigned to accompany and supervise learners during off-campus activities
3. Educational Field trip – a carefully planned activity involving travel to sites outside the classroom and school premises where lesson delivery usually takes place for firsthand learning opportunities, the design of which is built around achieving particular core competencies of the curriculum
4. Guardian – refers to legal guardians, foster parents, and other persons, including relatives or even non-relatives, who have physical custody of the child
5. Off-Campus Activity – an authorized activity relevant to learning that takes place outside the school premises, participated by learners and supervised by teachers and/or staff and other concerned stakeholders
a. Off-Campus Co-Curricular Activity – authorized, voluntary, non-graded off-campus learner engagements anchored within the bounds of the standard curriculum and educational, competencies organized and coordinated by authorized learner or civic organizations
b. Off-Campus Extra-Curricular Activity – voluntary, non-graded off-campus learner engagements not anchored on the standard curriculum and educational competencies either offered/coordinated by the school, authorized learner, or civic organizations that aim to promote the holistic development of learners
6. Roadworthiness – pertains to the ability of a vehicle to be street-legal and in a suitable operating condition as per the standards of appropriate government/regulatory agencies

IV. POLICY STATEMENT
DepEd hereby establishes the policy on the conduct of off-campus activities to set the guidelines on the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activities in public and private elementary and secondary schools.

General Principles
All co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will adhere to the following:
1. ensure the relevance and alignment with the educational competencies of the K to 13 Curriculum and leadership development of learners;
2. uphold child protection principles and that no learner shall be disadvantaged on any form; and
3. observe the safety and security protocols for all participants before, during, and after the activity.

Off-campus activities shall not be used as a means to raise funds for the school or an association. All curricular and nationally mandated off-campus activities shall be subject to existing policies governing them.

V. CATEGORIES OF OFF-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES

A. DepEd Mandated and Initiated Off-Campus Activities
In support of the K to 12 Curriculum implementation and the holistic development of learners, DepEd regularly initiates and/or mandates activities that are conducted outside of the school. These activities are organized by the central, regional, and division offices, and follow existing issuances specific to the activity.

B. Externally Initiated Off-Campus Activities
External stakeholders may involve schools in their activities and programs, which are off-campus in nature. For public schools, such activities shall require approval from DepEd authorities per governance level. For private schools, appropriate school authorities will be in charge of the approval. The planned off-campus activity shall be thoroughly discussed with school management before seeking approval from concerned authorities. This shall follow strictly articulated procedures in this policy.

C. School Initiated Off-Campus Activities
Public schools shall be allowed to organize field trips and/or educational tours provided that these will not entail huge costs and will not risk the safety and security of learners. Field trips and/or educational tours are supplemental activities only and shall not in any way replace the learning delivery.

The conduct of off-campus activities will be the prerogative of the school heads and subject to the approval of the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS).

VI. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Central Office
The overall policy guidance will come from the Office of the Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations and Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction. Specifically, the following are the roles and responsibilities of concerned bureaus:

1. Bureau of Learner Support Services
a. Oversee the implementation of this policy
b. Resolve emerging issues and challenges in the implementation and management of off-campus activities
c. Conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of off-campus activities
d. Spearhead the review of the policy on off-campus activities

2. Bureau of Learner Delivery (BLD) and Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD)
a. Ensure curricular and nationally-mandated co-curricular activities adhere to the protocols set in this policy
b. Participate in the regular review of this policy

B. Regional Office
Given the shared responsibility of Regional Office (RO) functional divisions in the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activities, herewith are the roles and responsibilities of concerned offices:

1. Education Support Services Division (ESSD) and Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD)
a. Spearhead the nationally mandated co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activity held at the regional level
b. Evaluate and recommend the approval of division and regional level activity proposals and ensure that these contribute to the curriculum and learner’s development
c. Ensure that off-campus activities strictly comply with procedures stipulated in this policy
d. Monitor the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
e. Resolve emerging issues and challenges in the implementation and management of school-initiated off-campus activities

ESSD shall be the overall in-charge in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the policy on off-campus activities at the regional level.


C. Schools Division Office
Given the shared responsibility of Schools Division Office (SDO) functional divisions in the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular off-campus activities, as appropriate herewith are the roles and responsibility of concerned offices:

1. School Governance and Operations Division (SGOD) and Curriculum Implementation Division (CID)
a. Faciliate smooth implementation of off-campus activities initiated at the SDO level, as appropriate
b. Monitor the conduct of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
c. Evaluate and recommend the approval of school level activity proposals and ensure that these are aligned with the curriculum and contribute to learner’s development
d. Secure a list of both accredited and blacklisted tour operators/service providers based on track record and credibility, which schools can refer to
e. Ensure that off-campus activities strictly comply with procedures stipulated in this policy
f. Resolve emerging issues and challenges in the implementation and management of school-initiated off-campus activities

SGOD shall be the overall in-charge in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the policy on off-campus activities at the division level.

[Read the entirety of the order here (19 pages).]







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