Graduation days ahead

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TODAY is the last day of February and by next month will be the month of many graduation exercises and ceremonies among almost all schools in the country.

I find this year's graduation theme: "Hindi Natitinag ang Pusong Pilipino" proper and fitting in view of the recent disasters and calamities that befell our country. Indeed, the resilience of the
Filipino spirit always triumphs above all.

To date, we have many provinces in the country which are still recuperating from the onslaught of several typhoons and a destructive earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands in the central part of the Philippines.


Filipinos' resiliencies always prevail in many trying times that we have experienced for the past years. Challenges became our way of life. This is perhaps what made the Department of Education (DepEd) have this year's graduation theme as such.

The DepEd has another concern, since it will be by next month that schools will have their graduation days, its Secretary Armin Luistro has called on public school administrators to make the graduation rites for this year, as simple as possible.

Secretary Luistro said that his call is in line with the austerity program that the government is implementing and reiterates its policies that the ceremonies need not be pompous to be meaningful for graduates, for their parents and all those in the academe.

He discourages excessive spending, extravagant attires and extraordinary venues that sometimes public schools adopt. Their reason perhaps is to make the rites extra special, but to the burden of parents who have top shell out extra finances for the graduation fees of their children.

The Secretary also reminded the public including schools all over the country, that field trips, film showing, Junior-Senior Promenades and other school events should not be considered as requirements for graduations.

Here is the good news for parents: parents should not impose graduation fees or any kind of contribution except for Parents-Teachers Associations who may contribute in cash or in kind to the graduation ceremonies.

Finally, the Secretary stated in his orders to all schools that graduation ceremonies should not be made venues for political forums where politicians are usually invited as guest speakers.

It has been made a practice for schools to invite politicians for their activities. This gives some of them the opportunity to ask for any projects for the school. It's an opportunity too for some school officials to showcase the dilapidated state of some school facilities that they may give attention to.

By practice, some but not all schools rely on the mercy of some national or local officials for any repairs or innovations of their facilities such as additional classroom buildings, comfort rooms or even electric fans or covered courts.

Nevertheless, graduation ceremonies are supposed to be solemn activities not for schools, not for politicians and definitely not for teachers, but for students who mark the end of another era of their academic life.

Graduation exercises are sometimes called commencement exercises because the graduates will simply commence either their next step of their studies or their adventures on job-hunting.

By the way, it is during the graduation month that the Department of Labor notes of the increased number of job-hunters. There are many students who would rather immediately find jobs than spend the summer on some tourist destinations.

While there are those who believe that their graduation is their key to finding a better career and high-income jobs, there are those who remain jobless until the next graduation days of the next year.

As a way of closing my column for today, I congratulate in advance, all graduates for hurdling another step towards their success and for becoming educated citizens of the land.


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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 28, 2014.


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