By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Only Senior High Schools (SHSs) will conduct graduation ceremonies for its qualified students thus there will be no graduation rites for Grade 6 pupils in both public and private schools for School Year (SY) 2018-2019, The Department of Education (DepEd) announced Thursday.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that for this school year, only Grade 12 learners from schools with DepEd-approved K to 12 transition plan; schools with permit to operate Senior High School since 2014, and international schools with K to 12 Program can hold graduation ceremonies.
The announcement is recorded in DepEd Order 002 series of 2019, or the SY 2018-2019 K to 12 Basic Education Program End of School Year (EOSY) Rites, issued to DepEd key officials, bureau and service directors, regional directors, schools division superintendents and school heads of public and private elementary and secondary school heads.
Meanwhile, Briones noted that Kindergarten, Grades 6 and 10 undergo “moving up” or “completion” exercises. Kindergarten learners will receive Kindergarten Certificate; Grade 6 learners will receive Elementary Certificate; Grade 10 learners will receive Junior High School (JHS) Certificate and the SHS graduates will get SHS Diploma.
Undersecretary and Spokesperson Annalyn Sevilla, citing inputs from the office of Curriculum and Instruction, told the Manila Bulletin that “there is only one basic education curriculum or program offered by DepEd” – which is the K to 12 Program. Thus, “there is only one graduation at basic education” and that is also from the K to 12 Program.
“Hence, only SHSs will conduct graduation rites for qualified grade 12 students,” she added.
Furthermore, Sevilla noted that the DepEd Order covers not only public schools but also private schools “offering the K to 12 Program of the DepEd [and] that includes Philippine schools overseas.” She noted that a “clarificatory” memorandum will soon be issued to “explain the change.”
Additional information from DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Delivery-Teaching and Learning Division (BLD-TLD) also confirmed that this is the first time that there will be no graduation rites for Grade 6 pupils.
Prior to the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum, the grade levels were grades 1 to 6 (Elementary) and first year to fourth year high school (Secondary). When the basic education was reformed through the K to 12 Program, grade levels were categorized to Elementary (Kindergarten, Grades 1 to 6); JHS (Grades 7 to 10), and SHS (Grades 11 to 12). Given this, the DepEd’s BLD-TLD said that the “promotion” of learners from one grade level to another is highlighted through the completion or moving up exercises.
Both public and private schools are scheduled to hold their respective end of school year rites not earlier than April 1, 2019 but not later than April 5, 2019 based on DO No. 25, s. 2018 or the “School Calendar for School Year 2018-2019.” Briones said that schools, divisions, or regions with an extended school year “will have to be guided by their approved revised school calendar.”
Briones also reiterated that Moving Up or Closing Ceremonies should be “simple involving only the learners, their parents and the school” in line with the government’s austerity program.
For public schools, she reminded the existing “no collection policy” of the department, thus, no DepEd personnel is allowed to “collect any kind of contribution or fee” for graduation/moving up/closing ceremony.