DepEd calls for ‘Spartan’ grad rites

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Education Secretary Armin Luistro. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Armin Luistro has reiterated his order to hold “Spartan” or austere graduation rites without any politicking when Grade 6 and fourth-year high school students graduate this year.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said graduation rites this year should be scheduled either on March 18 or 19.

Since he assumed office in June 2010, Luistro, a Catholic Lasallian brother, has gone beyond the department’s usual reminder against collecting graduation fees from students. He also called for austere yet meaningful ceremonies.

“Graduation rites should not be exercises in splurging and displays of pomp and pageantry but should be Spartan affairs which exhort civic duties, a sense of community and personal responsibilities,” he said in his order issued Monday.

“(They) should be memorable, exciting and animated without baggage of extra cost and excessive spending,” he added.

With the campaign underway for the May 13, 2013 general elections, candidates are expected to take advantage of school graduation ceremonies to gain mileage.

No politics, please

Luistro reiterated the DepEd’s policy to conduct graduation rites “in an appropriate solemn ceremony” and that these “shall not be used as political forums.”

The DepEd bars heads of public schools from collecting graduation fees or any kind of contribution for the graduation rites.

But they are allowed to receive donations from parents and teachers associations in cash or in kind for the ceremonies.

The DepEd also discourages schools from requiring “extravagant special attire or choosing an extravagant venue” for the graduation ceremonies.

The DepEd also disallows schools from imposing nonacademic projects as requirements for graduation.

If the school will come out with a yearbook for the graduating batch, contributions should also be voluntary, according to the DepEd.

Luistro said this year’s graduation theme is on the K to 12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12) basic education reform which Congress passed last month.

The K to 12 reform, which makes Kindergarten mandatory and adds two years of senior high school for a 12-year basic education curriculum, awaits the President’s signature to become law although the DepEd started to implement the program in 2011.

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