The Department of Education (DepEd) has set out the guidelines for the end of school year rites both in public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide with emphasis on simple and non-political graduation rites.
Based on DepEd Order No. 7 series of 2016, the education agency stated that all graduation ceremonies should be scheduled on or before April 1, 2016 and that the rites should be simple, solemn and meaningful events.
“While we recognize that graduation marks a milestone in one’s life, let our focus be on our sense of community and personal responsibility as graduates whose journey in life has just begun,” Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC emphasized.
In line with the government's austerity program, DepEd reiterates that graduation rites should be conducted without excessive spending, extravagant attire, or extraordinary venue.
It also emphasized that non-academic projects such as attendance to field trips, film showing, junior-senior promenade and other school events should not be imposed as requirements for graduation or completion.
In public schools, graduation expenses should be charged to the school Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses under the 2016 Budget.
“No DepEd personnel should be allowed to collect any graduation/moving up/closing ceremony fees or any kind of contribution,” Luistro said.
Moreover, Parent-Teachers Association may give donations in cash or in kind; and that contribution for the annual yearbook, if any, should be on a voluntary basis.
To maintain the neutrality and non-partisanship of schools, the graduation ceremonies should not be made a venue for political activity or campaigning. “The end of school year 2015-2016 rites should be an appropriate and solemn ceremony befitting the learners and their parents and shall not be used as a political forum,” Luistro added.
Grade 6 learners who will complete elementary education will get their elementary certificate in a graduation ceremony. Grade 10 learners who will complete junior high school will go through a moving up or completion ceremony and get their junior high school certificate.
Grade 12 learners from schools with DepEd-approved K to 12 transition plan; those who graduated from schools with a permit to operate Senior High School in school year 2014; and those who graduated in International Schools with K to 12 program will all get high school diploma in a graduation ceremony.
The 2016 graduation ceremonies shall focus on the theme Kabataang Mula K to 12, Tagapagdala ng Kaunlaran sa Bansang Pilipinas. The theme highlights K to 12 Basic Education Program as a transformative vehicle for local and national development.