2017 Graduation Rites Advisory: Make Commencement Exercises Simple and Solemn

Education Forum | Rex CasipleGraduation is here once again! I would like to greet the graduates of Dominican College of Iloilo (DCIL) in Zarraga, Iloilo on their graduation last March 26, 2017 and to their parents and guardians for the job well done. Likewise I would like to congratulate the faculty and staff of DCIL, headed by President Sr. Ma. Alma E. Amancio, O.P., Ed.D. for successfully holding the simple, solemn and meaningful commencement exercises of the college at the Mother Rosario Hall, Sacred Heart Academy, Zarraga, Iloilo.

Once again all schools colleges and universities are advised to make commencement exercises simple, solemn and free from political colors. The Department of Education (DepEd) is reminding schools to keep graduation rites or completion rites or moving-up exercises simple but meaningful. This advisory is in line with the government austerity measure program. Hence, the completion or graduation ceremony shall be conducted without excessive spending, extravagant attire or extraordinary venue.

The DepEd announced this year’s graduation theme: “Sabay-sabay na Hakbang Tungo sa Maunlad na Kinabukasan,”. This theme highlights the importance of collaborative efforts of stakeholders and learners in achieving quality education. This school year 2016-2017 graduation rites is also a graduation ceremony for Grade 6 learners who completed elementary education and a moving up or completion for Grade 10 learners in the secondary level who completed Junior High School. Non-academic projects such as field trips, film showing, junior-senior promenade, and other school events should not be imposed as requirements for graduation or completion. Contribution for the yearbook will be voluntary. DepEd personnel should not be allowed to collect any graduation fees or any kind of contribution. However, Parents and Teachers Associations (PTA) may give donations in cash or in kind.

In the tertiary level, the closing of classes for academic year (AY) 2016-2017 is in the last week of March 2017 until the third week of April 2017 or in any schedule as per approved school calendar. More than 28,000 college students in the Region will march for graduation. In this year 2017, Business Education topped the number of graduates with around 9,000 (31%), followed by Teacher Education with 5,000 graduates (18%) and Information Technology with 3,000 graduates (11%).

Higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Region are reminded to keep their graduation ceremonies simple and solemn. In line with Administrative Order 103 dated March 31, 2004, “Directing Continued Adoption of Austerity Measures in the Government”, and in consideration of the present economic difficulties of most graduating students especially in the areas devastated by typhoons and/or other natural calamities, HEIs shall hold simple but austere and memorable graduation rites. Colleges and universities must not host graduation rites in expensive venues. Graduating students should not be required to attend the graduation ceremonies in special or ostentatious attires, nor should HEIs require students to pay for contributions and/or purchase expensive memorabilla. They must not require students to submit non-academic projects as requirement for graduation. Educational tour or field trips should not be required as prerequisite for graduation. HEIs should not also require students to pay excessive contributions for the yearbook and other related items without proper consultations.

As the closing of AY 2016-2017 approaches, final examinations are given to students in the tertiary level.  As a matter of policy, no HEI shall deny final examinations to a graduating or non-graduating student who has outstanding financial or property obligations, including unpaid tuition and other school fees corresponding to the school term. With or without permits, students should be allowed to take the final examinations without much delay.