Follow field-trip policy when planning activities - Minto
Recognising that a number of school trips are usually planned at the end of the school year, Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, director of safety and security in schools, is urging administrators to make sure that the ministry's policy on field trips is followed.
In an interview with The Gleaner, where he highlighted issues that were addressed at a recent workshop in Montego Bay, St James, he said a critical matter that was raised was urging principals to make sure that safety and security are prioritised when planning school trips.
"We would have had over time, specifically over the last five years, one or two major incidents which invariably resulted in the death of students. Therefore, it is very critical that any activity that will require students going out on an exercise outside of school, that a number of things are taken into consideration," he said.
"The ministry has even listed some areas in which they should avoid; these include beach trips, places of questionable intent, any activity that is likely to have high risk involved."
Minto stressed that the policy, which was developed in 2015, outlines a number of safety issues which should be followed closely. He said this is especially necessary, as the academic year comes to an end in a few weeks.
"A major part of the administrators' responsibility is to make sure that when they plan a day's activity, the vehicles that will be used to transport the students are fully insured and they are insured to carry students for such activities. We want them to make sure that they (administrators) would have done their due diligence to make sure that all the proper procedures are followed," he said.
"The preferred choice is a school bus, but in the absence of a school bus, they would have to naturally charter a vehicle. Another important thing is that there should be a minimum of two adults providing supervision per field trip."