No mandatory fees for graduation rites

BAGUIO CITY  – Public schools in the different parts of the region are barred from collecting contributions from students to support the conduct of their upcoming graduation ceremonies from April 2-6, 2018, an official of the Cordillera office of the Department of Education said here recently.

DepEd-CAR assistant regional director Betinas Daytec-Aquino said the order for public schools to hold simple but meaningful graduation ceremonies for their students was already cascaded to the different public schools around the region for the information and guidance of school officials and teachers in the conduct of their graduation rites.

“We are optimistic we will no longer receive complaints regarding the mandatory fees imposed by school and officials to students and their parents for their graduation rites because we were able to issue the guidance from higher authorities early this month,” Daytec-Aquino stressed.

The DepEd-CAR official disclosed specific amounts from the maintenance and other operating expenses of the different schools have been programed for the conduct of simple but meaningful graduation rites to end the schoolyear, thus, there will be no reason for school officials and teachers to collect from students additional fees that will be used for the activities lined up for their graduation ceremonies.

Further, she added schools are also barred from inviting politicians to serve as guests of honor and speakers during the graduation ceremonies to prevent them from taking advantage of the program to advance their own political interests.

According to her, it is still best for school officials and teachers to invite successful alumnus from their schools to serve as graduation speakers because they will be able to impart to the members of the graduating class their personal experiences and secrets on how they were able to climb the ladder of success in their chosen fields of profession.

Daytec-Aquino explained discouraging school officials and teachers from inviting politicians as commencement exercise speakers is not a direct affront to the integrity and credibility of politicians, especially to those with proven track records and integrity in public service, but it is just a safety net to prevent the graduation ceremonies from being used as a venue for politicians to advance their own political agenda and use the activity to ventilate their platforms considering that it is only more than a year before the conduct of the May 2019 local elections .

She appealed to politicians to respect and understand the existing policy for them not to be invited as speakers during the graduation rites of different public schools to prevent them from politicizing the event because they want the younger ones to learn from the success of their alumnus.

Public elementary and secondary institutions in the region were required to hold their graduation rites from April 2-6, 2018 which will end the current schoolyear 2017-2018 and for them to again prepare for the opening of classes for schoolyear 2018-2019 during the first Monday of June.

By Dexter A. See

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