SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Education officials have advised public and private schools to refrain from inviting political candidates in graduation ceremonies so as to prevent them from using the occasion as a campaign venue.

“We encourage school principals and directors to invite their school alumni as guest speakers, who could inspire and motivate the graduates,”Darius Nieto, Project Development Officer of the regional office of the Department of Education, said. “They should avoid political candidates who may use the event to campaign for themselves.”

In a circular, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro said graduation rites should be simple but meaningful, without excessive spending, extravagant attire or held in extra-ordinary venues while moving up or closing ceremonies should be simple involving only the students, their parents and the school.

According to Department Oder No. 7 series of 2016, this year’s graduation ceremonies shall focus on the theme, “Kabataang Mula sa K to 12, Tagapagdala ng Kaunlaran sa Bansang Pilipinas,” which focuses on the K to 12 as a transformation vehicle for local and national development.

“DepEd reiterates a ‘no collection policy’ of graduation ceremony fees or contribution,” Nieto added.

Meanwhile, based on a Department Order issued Feb. 15, DepEd said that Grade 10 learners who will complete Junior High School will attend a moving up completion ceremony instead of the usual graduation and receive a High School Certificate.

Grade 12 students from both public and private schools with
DepEd-approved Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) transition plan will attend a graduation ceremony and receive a high school diploma. JUN ELIAS/