After a group of parents recently complained that schools have been asking parents to sign a disclaimer form taking students on out-of-town school trips, the education department has clarified that schools are supposed to take permission from the zonal education inspector before taking students on outstation excursions.
In the past two years, several accidents, some fatal, have been reported during school trips. This has prompted schools to make parents sign a disclaimer absolving the institutions from any blame in case of a mishap. Following the complaints, the education department has said that schools have to make an application to the local education inspector with details such as dates of travel, a list of students and teachers, the mode of transport, whether the approval of parents has been taken. The department then okays the trip. “There is a procedure,” said NB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai Metropolitan Region. “Schools are supposed to take permission from the education inspector of that zone before they go.”
However, it is not clear how rigorously this procedure – of applying for approval and then getting a sanction – is being followed. “In the past year one or two schools have taken permission, but some might be going even without applying,” said an education inspector. “Action can be taken. However we don’t get to know unless someone makes a complaint.” Recently, a Class 9 student of Gopal Sharma Memorial School in Powai died in a mishap during a school trip.