Indicated in the DepEd Order No. 002 s. 2019 entitled “School Year 2018-2019 K to 12 Basic Education Program End of School Year (EOSY) Rites” that the commencement exercises in all public basic education schools should not be earlier than April 1 but not later than April 5. With this, posted on social media the past weeks centered on graduation. There is no contention that graduation ceremony’s foci are the learners and their parents as more often, the learners’ diploma connotatively means the result of the sacrifices of the learners and their parents. However, little note is put on educators’ perceived meanings of the word “graduation”.
On a surface level, teachers may perceive graduation as the end of their regular teaching schedule and the signal of the beginning of their summer vacation. That is to say, they can go away from paper works for a while and can have more quality time with their family. Kiddingly, graduation, at times, is really being look forward to by teachers.
However, more than vacation and time with the family, graduation encapsulates a number of meanings for teachers. To begin, just like the learners and the parents, graduation means the result of the teachers’ passion, dedication, and sacrifices. Undeniably, teachers wish to see all their learners to graduate and be successful on their chosen field soon.
On the other hand, graduation also means self-assessment. Teachers as well assess themselves on how effective they are as they see the students who will be marching during the commencement exercise. Needless to say but these graduates signify the quality of work they have had.
Third, graduation means second chance. To exemplify, there are students who will graduate being products of remedial instructions as they were left behind inside the classroom. Nonetheless, the teachers are very much willing to give second chances as no child should be left behind.
Fourth, graduation means unity amidst diversity. This means, the teachers are able to effectively handle different types of students. It is of great challenge to establish unity among learners with different levels comprehension, learning styles, social backgrounds, and economic status. Here comes commencement exercise and these diverse learners are all together to receive their diplomas.
Fifth, graduation means contribution to nation building. These graduates are hoped to be the soon agents in the development of the country. With this, the teachers have played a big contribution towards nation building.
On top of these, graduation means love of the Filipino people as the teachers have finished another school year having decided to stay in the country as they know that the learners in the country need them more as compared with the learners in other countries.
These are only some of the unsung meanings of the word “graduation” for teachers. S.Y. 2018- 2019 EOSY theme “Pagkakaisa sa Pagkakaiba: Kalidad na Edukasyon sa Lahat” is aspired to transpire and be felt by all school stakeholders during commencement exercises.
By Mark Aljon E. Valenciano