With the current school year entering its final four weeks, the Department of Education (DepEd) has already released the official theme to be used for the 2017 nursery, kindergarten, elementary, and high school graduation ceremonies nationwide. It is “Sabay-sabay na hakbang tungo sa magandang kinabukasan.”
In a department order dated February 17, Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained that the theme “highlights the importance of the concerted endeavor and collective efforts of the stakeholders and learners in achieving the shared vision of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for all.”
“It also emphasizes the the significance of unity in forging a better and progressive future for the Filipino youth,” she added.
The order mandates that graduation ceremonies should be held on or before April 7, 2016. Meanwhile, school divisions or regions whose school years had been extended because of class suspensions will have to be guided by their approved revised school calendar.
Just like her predecessors, Briones underscored that the ceremonies must be observed with austerity and simplicity. “While these rites mark a milestone in the life of the learners, these should be conducted without excessive spending, extravagant attire, or extraordinary venue,” she said.
In relation to that, she likewise warned school administrators and teachers against including non-academic projects such as attendance to field trips, film showing, junior-senior promenade and other school events as requirements for graduation or completion.
And perhaps taking into account the polarized nature of the Philippine society at present, Briones appealed to everyone not use the graduation rites for political discourse. “The ceremonies should be conducted in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the graduating pupils and students and their parents,” he explained.