MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday, April 13, said that there will be no graduation rites in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Alam natin na closed na ang classes, tapos na, pero walang graduation (We all know that classes were closed, but there will be no graduation)," Briones said in an interview aired on GMA.
Briones added, "I know [this is a cause of] disappointment para sa mga pamilya pero under present condition hindi natin ito pinahihintulutan (for all the families but at this present condition, we cannot allow it)."
"Mas mabuti pa na buong bansa muna ang walang graduation (It is better to postpone the graduation rites in the whole country for now)," Briones said.
According to Briones, this is not the first time that graduation rites have been postponed.
"Marami tayong instances na historically, na-po-postpone ang graduation. Sa [University of the Philippines] Diliman na binagyo, hindi natutuloy. Tinext na lang ang mga graduates na graduates na kayo tapos nag-ceremonials later. Sa panahon ng World War II na naabutan ng giyera, very very much later ilang dekada bago sila nakatanggap ng certificate of graduation," Briones said.
(Historically, there were many instances that graduation was postponed. In the University of the Philippines Diliman, graduation was postponed due to a typhoon. The graduates received only a text message that they already graduated then ceremonies were conducted later. During World War II, it took decades for the graduates to receive their diplomas.)
Briones, however, clarfied that they are not canceling the graduation but only postponing.
The Department of Education has yet to issue a memorandum on the postponement of the graduation rites.
To contain the spread of the virus, mass gatherings were temporarily prohibited in the country.
Meanwhile, at the tertiary level, Ateneo de Manila University on Tuesday, April 7, announced that it will shorten the second semester for school year 2019-2020.
As of Sunday, the Philippines registered 4,648 cases of coronavirus, with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries.
The government has also extended the lockdown in Luzon until April 30, from the original April 12. – Rappler.com