Compulsory Overseas Trip

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Compulsory Overseas Trip

Postby nani » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:08 am

Hi

Would you permit your child to go on such trips?

Most school imply that is a Compulsory programme for all pupils, and yet they want ask to sign the Letter of Consent and Indemnity form. Thus, do we have the right to disagree?

What's your opinion on this?

nani
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Postby starlight1968sg » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:43 am

My dd is p5 and am waiting for this bomb to drop too.

I read that more and more schools going for overseas trips during school holidays. But for parents who are financially constraint, how can we afford such a luxury and these trips don't come cheap too.

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Postby nani » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:00 am

Most trips are subsidise and some can use edusave. Qn is when they make it complusory, then WHY make us sign the consent & Indemnity form??

Well, I admit am a worry mom. I do fear that should anything happen to a child during overseas trip, and because we gave the permission & sign the indemnity form, we are the ones RESPONSIBLE for our own child!! (is like a smack on your face on who ask you to give your consent!!)

Many times, school will say we have to teach our child INDEPENDENCE. Was thinking, to each its own, who are to say how to teach our child, I believe WE as parents know when & how we want to release our strings.

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Postby mrswongtuition » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:12 pm

The indemnity form is to prevent parents from sueing the school/MOE. However, when real emergency arises, the school usually takes very good care of the students.

An example I experienced was when my student accidentally slipped and fell in HK just outside the hotel lobby due to the heavy rain. We took her to the hospital for a check up immediately (private hospital at her parent's request) and the insurance paid the bill. There were 3 teachers who went along and I stayed with this student, with the help of 2 of her friends and the rest of the group carried on with activities with the other 2 teachers and the local guide. Thankfully, we were in a country where I had relatives so we went to a reputable private hospital based on their recommendations. We have SOPs to follow in such cases.

I had parents who could not 'let go' and followed us on the trip although we stated clearly that they have to follow our schedule and are not allowed to bring their child elsewhere during the trip. Some of them extended their stay there as their private holiday when the school trip ended.

Check with the school if they need parent volunteers on the trip and volunteer yourself if you can't stop worrying.

Cost wise, if you really can't afford, let the school know. They have many different funds to tap into to help students who can't afford. Some schools are willing to offer 'installment' payments too. I recall a few students who were given 90% subsidy because their family's income was less than $2000. And even after subsidy, they requested to split the balance payment of $200+ into 5 monthly installments (no problems at all because they actually paid up before the trip as it took us very long to plan for the trip too).

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Postby sleepy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:18 pm

nani wrote:Most trips are subsidise and some can use edusave. Qn is when they make it complusory, then WHY make us sign the consent & Indemnity form??

Well, I admit am a worry mom. I do fear that should anything happen to a child during overseas trip, and because we gave the permission & sign the indemnity form, we are the ones RESPONSIBLE for our own child!! (is like a smack on your face on who ask you to give your consent!!)


Read about how legally binding is the indemnity form in Straits Times some time ago. According to that article, parents can still go ahead to sue the school if the school is negligent even though they have signed the indemnity form.

Any parents with legal background can verify that?

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Postby mrswongtuition » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:32 pm

sleepy wrote:
nani wrote:Most trips are subsidise and some can use edusave. Qn is when they make it complusory, then WHY make us sign the consent & Indemnity form??

Well, I admit am a worry mom. I do fear that should anything happen to a child during overseas trip, and because we gave the permission & sign the indemnity form, we are the ones RESPONSIBLE for our own child!! (is like a smack on your face on who ask you to give your consent!!)


Read about how legally binding is the indemnity form in Straits Times some time ago. According to that article, parents can still go ahead to sue the school if the school is negligent even though they have signed the indemnity form.

Any parents with legal background can verify that?


The thing is, they need to prove that the school IS negligent. Teachers have strict SOPs to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of all the students. I had to personally check that all my students eat their fruits at every meal and if they did not like the fruit that was served, I requested for something that they like (prevent constipation which is very common during overseas trips). I also had to check that they were in their rooms and not out painting the town red. When crossing roads or near roads, I was extremely observant and had to keep reminding them to keep in line (sometimes they are busy chatting/looking around that they fail to notice the traffic). It's highly stressful for teachers to bring students out because we know that they are precious and we do love them too.

I remember at an extremely busy junction, the local guide and 1 teacher stayed with the students at the lobby of a hotel while another teacher and I held the kids' hands to bring them across the road. Then the teacher stayed with those who had crossed the road and I had to 'ferry' them across the road while holding their hands. Though it was a proper traffic junction with traffic lights, the traffic was chaotic and we had no choice because the allocated tourist bus pick up point was across the road.

No parent can understand the teachers' stress while bringing the kids overseas. It was way more stressful than having a camp in school!

If you really don't feel assured, then don't allow your child to go. All you need to do is write in with your concerns. No one will force your child to go if the parents don't allow. However, your child might be upset with you due to peer pressure.

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Postby nani » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:38 pm

Few years ago, I remembered a child that went to Kota Kinabalu with the school. The child was not known of any medical issue on her health. But maybe due to the hectic schdedule and unexpected climbing (the child was probably not train for stamina). She was breathless and have to stop climbing. Teachers were there to help and blah blah blah...eventually the child did not make it :( . In cases like this, how the school going to answer to the parents? And what can parents do besides blaming themselves for signing the consent??

I may sound very negative, but it could be reality. It maybe rare but still who can tell when and what is going to happen. Especially when parents are at their wits end whether to permit or not permit their child to engage in these "COMPLUSORY" trip.

Why I said wits end?? Because if the trip is consider a development programme that coincide with the curriculum, our child may blame us for depriving them from going on the trip and thus they are unable to do the project with their peers.

I would hope to hear more views & opinions from parents here.

nani
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Postby mrswongtuition » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:48 pm

Nani, may I know what trip is this? Cos I've not encountered any 'compulsory' trips at the schools I've taught at before or currently.

Parents are briefed in detail on where the children will be and what form of activities they'll be engaged in. If you feel that the activities are too dangerous (example climbing mountains or extreme sports), you can explain to your child about your concerns.

I know my school principal actually changed our original plan of going on a 'dinner cruise' because there's a possibility of the boat sinking. Sounded silly to the students but the parents were relieved to hear that the school is taking their safety very seriously.

If you are really concerned about safety, you can always choose not to let your child go. However, do chat with your child about your reasons so that he/she will not be resentful.


I will be extremely worried if my boy is going on an overseas school trip and will definitely volunteer myself to go on the trip. This issue has been discussed with my family. If work commitments cause me to be unable to follow, my hb/dad/mum/sis/bro will follow. Similarly, even for local trips, we always make the effort to follow even if my hb has to take leave and make his boss extremely upset with him.

My hb once told me to cool off and not be so 'negative' cos he said that if your life is meant to end, it will end even when you are sleeping (stroke), even when you are just walking home from the carpark (something drop on you), etc etc. However, I'm a mummy and will never stop worrying. If I can follow, I'll follow.

Balancing between safety concerns and depriving your child from learning is hard. My choice will either be to follow on the trip or to bring the child on the trip seperately at our own time.

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Postby nani » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:50 pm

mrswongtuition wrote:
sleepy wrote:
nani wrote:Most trips are subsidise and some can use edusave. Qn is when they make it complusory, then WHY make us sign the consent & Indemnity form??

Well, I admit am a worry mom. I do fear that should anything happen to a child during overseas trip, and because we gave the permission & sign the indemnity form, we are the ones RESPONSIBLE for our own child!! (is like a smack on your face on who ask you to give your consent!!)


Read about how legally binding is the indemnity form in Straits Times some time ago. According to that article, parents can still go ahead to sue the school if the school is negligent even though they have signed the indemnity form.

Any parents with legal background can verify that?


The thing is, they need to prove that the school IS negligent. Teachers have strict SOPs to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of all the students. I had to personally check that all my students eat their fruits at every meal and if they did not like the fruit that was served, I requested for something that they like (prevent constipation which is very common during overseas trips). I also had to check that they were in their rooms and not out painting the town red. When crossing roads or near roads, I was extremely observant and had to keep reminding them to keep in line (sometimes they are busy chatting/looking around that they fail to notice the traffic). It's highly stressful for teachers to bring students out because we know that they are precious and we do love them too.

I remember at an extremely busy junction, the local guide and 1 teacher stayed with the students at the lobby of a hotel while another teacher and I held the kids' hands to bring them across the road. Then the teacher stayed with those who had crossed the road and I had to 'ferry' them across the road while holding their hands. Though it was a proper traffic junction with traffic lights, the traffic was chaotic and we had no choice because the allocated tourist bus pick up point was across the road.

No parent can understand the teachers' stress while bringing the kids overseas. It was way more stressful than having a camp in school!

Exactly!! I for one DEFINITELY understand the stress of a teacher, I have always admire their courage and patience of taking up this occupation, having to deal with so many students everyday. Some parents cannot even take care of one child. That's why I do not understand why school want to organise such trips and the teachers have to bear the responsibilites.

If you really don't feel assured, then don't allow your child to go. All you need to do is write in with your concerns. No one will force your child to go if the parents don't allow. However, your child might be upset with you due to peer pressure.]This is what I mean by at our wits end :|[/quote

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Postby mrswongtuition » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:58 pm

nani wrote:
No parent can understand the teachers' stress while bringing the kids overseas. It was way more stressful than having a camp in school!

Exactly!! I for one DEFINITELY understand the stress of a teacher, I have always admire their courage and patience of taking up this occupation, having to deal with so many students everyday. Some parents cannot even take care of one child. That's why I do not understand why school want to organise such trips and the teachers have to bear the responsibilites.


I can honestly tell you, I was so stressed up that my students kept telling me to relax and have fun with them. I was constantly keeping an eye on them even during 'free time' when they were allowed to explore the shopping centre to buy their gifts. Even when I called my hb, he could hear the stress in my voice. To add to my hb's displeasure, I had to pay for the trip on my own cos the school had maxed out their budget subsidizing the kids and could not afford to subsidize for the teachers. Imagine having to pay thousands of dollars to take on such stress! But I did not mind cos I saw how much the students learnt and gained from the trip. Plus how some of them matured and learnt to appreciate their family while being away for so long without their family.

Schools plan such trips for the kids to gain exposure. It's really different from our regular excursions in SG. They also got to interact with students from other countries and backgrounds. It's something that quite hard to achieve without leaving SG.

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