No lavish graduation rites, DepEd tells schools

MANILA—Keep it simple.

The Department of Education once again reminded public schools to observe austerity in holding graduation rites.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro also directed school heads, teachers, and other school personnel not to collect any fees or even contributions for the ceremonies.

“A graduation ceremony displays the initial triumph of the Filipino youth as it gives our students the confidence to face and hurdle more difficult challenges ahead. This alone, even without extravagance, will already turn the celebration special and memorable,” he said.

The DepEd Order No.4, series of 2011 also specifies that graduation rites should be held between April 1 to 7.

Luistro noted that this years’ theme, “The Graduate: A Partner Towards Transformational Society, An Answer to Societal Change” (Ang Mga Magsisipagtapos: Kaagapay Tungo sa Pagbabagong Anyo ng Lipunan, Tugon sa Hamon ng Sambayanan) echoes the message of President Benigno Aquino that education can fix the nation’s problems.

“The true value of education is in knowing that, as you graduate, you now have a bigger role to play in society and in our quest for a better nation for all Filipinos. Our graduates are indeed the building blocks to make Philippines a prosperous nation,” he said.

Although parents-teachers association (PTA or parents-teachers-community association (PTCA) may solicit voluntary contributions from their members for graduation ceremonies, teachers and school officials should not be involved in the collection of these contributions, said the order.

“We should make our graduation ceremonies memorable, exciting and animated without the baggage of extra accost and excessive spending. Graduation rites should be simple affairs that encourage civic duties, promote a sense of community and personal responsibilities,” Luistro said.

The graduation rites should be held in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the graduating students and their parents and shall not in any way be used as a venue for political forum, he said.

Further, no non-academic project shall be required for graduation while contributions for the annual yearbook should only be on a voluntary basis.

From enrolment period in June to graduation rites in March and April, DepEd has strongly called on all public schools to abide by the “no collection” policy, which is enshrined in the Constitution. This is also a way to encourage parents to bring their children of school age to school and complete basic education.

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