Some schools prepare for in-person graduation rites

Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2022 06:33 PM

MANILA — Two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, students in basic education may already experience this year in-person graduation ceremonies which the Department of Education (DepEd) has allowed in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2.

Students of San Francisco High School in Quezon City are determined to get their full graduation experience this year by asking the administration to conduct in-person rites, after 2 years of virtual ceremony.

Graduating student Harold James Cruz, who is also the president of the school's student council, said attending in-person graduation rites this time is all right as COVID-19 cases have declined and as long as there is health protocol compliance.

"Very special po itong graduation, na mag-face to face na po... Kaming magkakasamang classmates po d'yan sa stage na iyan, tatawagin ang mga pangalan namin," Cruz told ABS-CBN News.

Principal Edna Bañaga said the school is ready to conduct physical graduation rites and is just waiting for the guidelines from the DepEd.

"The requests and the clamor from the graduating batch of this school year is for them to have the face-to-face graduation ceremony. Ito iyong batch na deprived. Nag-Grade 10, na-lockdown sila, hindi sila nakapagsagawa ng graduation or ng completion ceremony," she said.

As part of safety measures, isolation tents will be place, along with UV lights and UV boxes that will be used to disinfect certificates and medals.

Bañaga said the ceremony may be held in batches to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

They will also employ a hybrid scheme, wherein those who opt to attend virtually from home can still do so as the actual ceremony proceeds in the campus.

"They've been in lockdown for almost two years, and it's about time that we give them the chance to go out and reap the labors, iyong fruits of their labors," the school principal said.

Last Friday, Education Assistant Secretary Alma Torio said the DepEd has allowed the conduct of limited in-person graduation rites for schools in areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2.

Virtual ceremonies are recommended for those in Alert Levels 3, 4, and 5 areas, she said.

The end-of-school-year (ESOY) is on June 24, while ESOY rites are slated between June 27 and July 2, based on DepEd's School Year 2021-2022 calendar.

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