Education department carries out strictly ‘no-frills’ graduation rites order of Arroyo

CARRYING out the President’s directive for graduation ceremonies to be as simple as possible, the Department of Education (DepEd) has issued a memorandum order to all DepEd units to ensure the conduct of no-fee and “no-frills” graduation rites.

President Gloria Arroyo issued her “no-frills graduation rites” order early this year as her administration started the provision of emergency government jobs to Filipinos affected by the global economic downturn, and initiated a state-church partnership to alleviate the lives of indigent Filipinos.

“In line with the government’s austerity program,” the DepEd issued Order #15, series of 2009, where “public schools are not allowed to collect any graduation fees or any kind of contribution for graduation rites.”

The DepEd order also mandated that “no extraordinary venue” and “no special attire for the ceremonies should be required.”
“Contributions for the annual yearbook shall likewise be on a voluntary basis,” according to the DepEd order which added that “holding the graduation within the school premises is strongly encouraged.

As to the attire, “wearing of togas may be allowed, subject to the approval of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) officers and members representing the graduating class, and that only the actual cost of rental of togas is borne by the graduating students.”

The PTA “may solicit voluntary contributions from their members for graduation ceremonies and celebrations; however, teachers and principals should not be involved in the collection of said contributions.
“Use of such contributions for graduation shall be coordinated with and properly reported to the PTA/PTCA members.”

The DepEd Order adds that “no non-academic project shall be imposed as a requirement for graduation.”

Also, “graduation rites should be conducted in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the graduating students and their parents, and shall not in any way be used as a venue for political forum.” Philippine News Agency

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