Last Tuesday, the Department of Education (DepEd) issued Memorandum No. 43, s. 2022 that sets the rules for conducting the End-of-School Year (EOSY) Rites for the School Year 2021-2022. With a theme “Gradweyt ng K to 12: Masigasig sa mga Pangarap at Matatag sa mga Pagsubok,” it highlights the determination of the Filipino learners in building a better future with a clear goal despite the ongoing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the school year ends on June 24, schools shall conduct their EOSY rites on any of the dates from June 27 to July 2, provided that they did not suspend classes in January from the surge of COVID-19 cases. Otherwise, the event may be scheduled on any of the dates from July 4 to 9. Private schools shall follow their approved or revised school calendar.
The feasibility of conducting the EOSY rites during the scheduled week highly depends on the public health situation, as emphasized by DepEd. If the situation worsens, the schools, in consultation with their Parent-Teachers Association, may reschedule or forgo the said event.
Although DepEd highly discourages the conduct of a face-to-face ceremony given the health risks, it provides a leeway for schools in Alert Levels 1 and 2 to hold a limited physical or hybrid ceremony. This, however, should be in consultation with their local government unit, with consent from the parents, and under strict compliance to health protocols. Schools in Alert Levels 3, 4, and 5 shall have their EOSY rites virtually that they may live stream online should the parents give their consent.
If the school opts to conduct limited EOSY rites, all attendees and staff involved must wear a face mask during the entire event. At least one-meter physical distance between the participants should also be observed and they must remain at their assigned seats only. Any forms of physical contact such as a handshake are discouraged. To limit the number of people, only the parents or one designated guardian is allowed to accompany the student. The graduation rites and moving up ceremony should also be conducted separately.
For a virtual ceremony, a short program for no more than two hours shall be prepared by the school with the students, their parents or guardians, school officials, faculty and staff, and invited guests as the only ones present.
To ensure the solemn and dignified conduct of the EOSY rites, DepEd emphasized that the event should not be used as a political forum.