MAKATI CITY, Dec. 6 (PIA) -- Thousands of students from public schools in the city are now able to go on educational field trips for free after Mayor Abby Binay pushed for the allocation of P100 million in this year's city budget to cover the cost of implementing off-campus activities.
The mayor said the city government has given its full support to the project, which falls under the Talent Optimization Programs for Students (TOPS) of the Department of Education-Makati (DepEd-Makati), as part of continuing efforts to develop "globally competitive Makatizens".
"As I have vowed from the start of my term as mayor, my administration will strive to provide cutting edge and relevant education for the youth of Makati, at no cost to them or their parents and guardians," Mayor Abby said.
The mayor noted that students have different learning curves, and outdoor activities such as educational field trips help stimulate their thirst for learning at their young age.
"I believe that the early years of education is the ideal time for children to be allowed to explore and learn from the things they discover firsthand outside the classroom and school grounds. By creating a link between the concepts taught to them and how these apply in the real world, we will optimize their potential for learning," Mayor Abby said.
"We only need to ensure their safety during the entire trip, and that the places they visit are safe and wholesome," she underscored.
Last Nov. 26, the mayor together with Congressman Luis Campos joined some 3,175 students from various public elementary schools on their trip to Kidzania Manila at Bonifacio Global City. Kidzania is a play city built to scale for children aged four to 17, complete with paved streets, transport system and a functioning economy. It is designed to provide realistic role-play experience to children to develop their life skills and explore their potentials.
Schools that visited Kidzania on the said day included F. Benitez Elementary School- Main, East Rembo Elementary School, Fort Bonifacio Elementary School, Bangkal Elementary School I, Bangkal Elementary School-Main, Cembo Elementary School, Comembo Elementary School, F. Benitez III Elementary School, Guadalupe Viejo Elementary School, Hen. Pio Del Pilar Elementary School-Main, Hen. Pio Del Pilar Elementary School I, Jose Magsaysay Elementary School, and La Paz Elementary School.
In the coming weeks, students will also visit historical places such as Luneta Park, Intramuros, and Barasoain Church and Museum in Bulacan. Aside from Kidzania, other popular sites lined up for the educational tours include Mind Museum and Manila Ocean Park.
Earlier, Mayor Abby presented her State of the Children Address before some 2,400 students and youth from different barangays, reiterating her commitment to the protection and promotion of their rights and welfare.
In her report, she enumerated the new additions to the free items being provided by the city to public schoolchildren under Project FREE (Free Relevant Excellent Education), including a brand new pair of rubber shoes, raincoats and rain boots. She also announced that starting next school year, the city will also provide them free school socks, which elicited loud applause from the audience.
The mayor assured them that the city will continue to seek ways to ease the burden of their parents in sending them to school, so they can instead spend on their other essential needs. (PIA-NCR)