MANILA - Graduation ceremonies should only be held for senior high school students, the Department of Education (DepEd) has said ahead of the end of the school year.
In a memorandum dated Feb. 18, the education department said only Grade 12 students should have graduation rites and be given diplomas as proof of completion.
For long, graduation rites were held for sixth grade and fourth year high school students under the old 10-year basic education cycle, marking the end of elementary and high school.
The country has since shifted to a 12-year basic education cycle under the K to 12 (Kindergarten to 12 years) program.
Students in the kindergarten level, 6th grade, and 10th grade, the equivalent of 4th year high school under the old program, should only have moving up or completion ceremonies and given certificates.
The K to 12 program was implemented in 2013 as the flagship education reform measure of the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.
Under the program, two more years were added to the education cycle in a bid to produce high school graduates ready for either college or employment, as they will finish basic education at age 18.
For school year 2018 to 2019, yearender ceremonies should focus on the theme "Unity in Diversity: Quality Education for all."
"This theme highlights the role of the K to 12 Basic Education Program in developing an educated society where the challenges and benefits of diversity are embraced and welcomed by every Filipino," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in the memorandum.
Schools should conduct end of school year rites not earlier than April 1 but not later than April 5, the education department said.
The DepEd also reminded public schools that none of its personnel are allowed to collect any kind of contribution or fee for end of school year rites.
Read the full DepEd memorandum here: