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DepEd Issues Updated Guidelines for K to 12 End-of-School-Year Rites

The Department of Education (DepEd) recently issued DepEd Order No. 9, s. 2023, which updates the implementing guidelines on the conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-Of-School-Year (EOSY) Rites. This article will overview this order, discuss the rationale and procedure changes, examine the implications for educators and education professionals, and touch on potential applications in the field.

The DepEd aims to provide high-quality education through the K to 12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines. DepEd Order No. 9, s. 2023 aims to update the guidelines for conducting the EOSY rites to reflect recent policy changes and accommodate new challenges and developments in the educational landscape. The EOSY rites play a significant role in recognizing learners who have successfully completed the curriculum requirements and marking transitions to subsequent stages of education.

Key Policy Changes

The following are some of the main changes brought forth by DepEd Order No. 9, s. 2023:

  1. Removal of physical distancing and face mask mandates: In the annual conduct of full in-person EOSY rites, observance of physical distancing and wearing of face masks shall no longer be mandatory. The decision to wear face masks is left to the discretion of learners and their parents.
  2. Date for holding this year’s rites: Each school can elect the date for holding this year’s rites not earlier than July 10 and not later than July 14, 2023.
  3. Theme: This year’s EOSY rites theme is “Gradweyt ng K to 12: Hinubog ng Matatag na Edukasyon” (K to 12 Graduates: Molded through a Resilient Educational Foundation). This theme emphasizes that graduation symbolizes the resilience, agency, and grit of Filipino learners honed by a solid basic education system responsive to the changing needs of the time.

DepEd Order No. 9, s. 2023

DO_s2023_009

An Order Updating the Multi-Year Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-Of-School-Year Rites

The Department of Education (DepEd) issues the enclosed “An Order Updating the Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-of-School-Year (EOSY) Rites” as an amendment to and reissuance of DepEd Order (DO) 2, s. 2020, entitled MultiYear Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-of-School-Year Rites, which provides guidance to both public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide in the annual conduct of EOSY rites.

In the annual conduct of full in-person EOSY rites, observance of physical distancing and wearing of face mask shall not be mandatory.

As stipulated in DO 34, s. 2022, entitled School Calendar and Activities for the School Year 2022-2023, the classes shall formally end on July 07, 2023. Each school has the discretion to elect the date for the holding of this year’s rites not earlier than July 10 and not later than July 14, 2023. Private schools that started earlier and public and private schools with an extended school year due to unforeseen circumstances shall be guided by their approved revised school calendar.

For this School Year 2022-2023, the EOSY rites shall focus on the theme: Gradweyt ng K to 12: Hinubog ng Matatag na Edukasyon (K to 12 Graduates: Molded through a Resilient Educational Foundation), which emphasizes that graduation is not only a celebratory milestone but also a symbol of resilience, agency, and grit of Filipino learners honed by a solid basic education system that is responsive to the changing needs of time. Further, it highlights that every learner’s achievement mirrors an education that succeeds amid all difficulties.

The subsequent annual themes for these ceremonies shall be published in a DepEd Memorandum.

The DepEd reiterates the following policies:

a. Discouraging excessive spending, extravagant attire, or extraordinary venue for the conduct of Graduation and Moving Up Ceremonies;

b. DO No. 66, s. 2017, entitled Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities;

c. DO No. 31, s. 2019, entitled The Department of Education Service Marks and Visual Identity Manual (Enclosure 1, pages 44-46);

d. DO No. 36, s. 2016, entitled Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program;

e. DO No. 48, s. 2018, entitled Prohibition of Electioneering and Partisan Political Activity; and

f. Prohibiting any DepEd personnel to collect any kind of contribution or graduation/moving up fee.

Private Schools, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Technical Vocational Institutions (TVls), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) offering basic education or any grade levels thereof, may opt to adopt the provisions of this DO as basis in the conduct of their moving up/graduation ceremonies.

This Order shall take effect immediately upon its approval and shall remain in force and in effect for the duration of the K-to-12 Basic Education Program, unless sooner repealed, amended or rescinded. Certified copies of this Order shall be filed with the University of the Philippines Law Center-Office of the National Administrative Register (UPLC-ONAR), UP Diliman, Quezon City.

All DepEd Orders, Memoranda, and other related issuances, rules, regulations and provisions which are inconsistent with these guidelines are hereby repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.

Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.

Updated Implementing Guidelines on the Annual Conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-Of-School-Year Rites

Rationale

Through the MATATAG: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa Agenda, the Department of Education (DepEd) pledged to be matatag for and with our learners, educators, partners, and stakeholders in establishing a nation that values its youth, and a Filipino youth that values its nation. In alignment with this framework, the DepEd shall continually improve the K to 12 Basic Education Program to achieve its mission, as provided for in DepEd Order (DO) No. 21, s. 2019, to strengthen the values of the Filipino people, develop a strong sense of nationalism, develop productive citizens who contribute to the building of a progressive, just, and humane society, ensure environmental sustainability, and cultivate global partnerships for development.

The annual conduct of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-Of-School-Year (EOSY) Rites serves to commemorate the fruits of the collective effort of the whole school community to provide learners with a holistic preparation to pursue higher education, entrepreneur ship, middle level skills development or employment with increased chance of success. Moreover, these rites are solemn ceremonies of acknowledging learners who have successfully met, or even exceeded curricular requirements, and mark the transition to subsequent stages and specific milestones of the basic education program.

In order to provide guidelines on the annual implementation of the conduct of the EOSY Rites, the DepEd issued DO 2, s. 2020, entitled “Multi-Year Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of the Kto 12 Basic Education Program End-of-School-Year Rites”. However, in light of the recent developments and policy adjustments, the DepEd issues this Order to update the guidelines on the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program End-Of-School-Year-Rites. The DepEd moves to allow and encourage the full face-to-face conduct of the moving up and graduation ceremonies starting this school year 2022-2023. Further, the observance of physical distancing and wearing of face mask is no longer mandatory

Scope

This policy shall be the DepEd’s standing policy in providing guidance in the annual conduct of the K to 12 end-of-school-year rites, and shall be applicable to both public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide.

Policy Statement

This DepEd Order provides the updated procedures for conducting moving up and graduation ceremonies for Kindergarten, Grade 6, Grade 10, and Grade 12 learners who fulfilled the curriculum requirements at the end of the school year.

Procedures

The DepEd shall implement the annual full face-to-face conduct of the following K to 12 Basic Education Program End-of-School-Year (EOSY) Rites:

Grade Level CompletersCompletersProof of Completion
KindergartenMoving UpKindergarten Certificate
Grade 6GraduationElementary Certificate
Grade 10Moving UpJunior High School Certificate
Grade 12 learners from
a. Schools with DepEd-approved K to 12 transition plans
b. Schools with permit to operate Senior High School since 2014
c. International schools with K to 12 Program
GraduationSenior High School Diploma

In the annual conduct of full in-person EOSY rites, observance of physical distancing shall no longer be mandatory.

The wearing of face mask during the ceremonies is not required and shall be left to the discretion of the learners and their parents.

The subsequent annual themes for these ceremonies shall be published in a DepEd Memorandum.

The DepEd reiterates the following policies:

a. Graduation and Moving Up Ceremonies should be simple yet meaningful. While these rites mark a milestone in the lives of the learners, these should be conducted without excessive spending, extravagant attire, or extraordinary venue.

b. Non-academic projects articulated in DO No. 66, s. 2017, entitled Implementing Guidelines on the Conduct of Off-Campus Activities such as attendance to field trips, film showing, JS Promenade and other school events should not be imposed as requirements for graduation or completion.

c. The format of the certificate of completion and diploma must be in accordance with Enclosure 1, pages 44 to 46 of DO No. 31, s. 2019, entitled The Department of Education Service Marks and Visual Identity Manual

For private elementary and secondary schools, technical and vocational institutions (TVIs), and higher education institutions (HEIs) including state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs)

  • The use of the enclosed completion certificate and diploma template is optional. The signature of the school head is required, while the signature of the Schools Division Superintendent is not required.

For public elementary and secondary schools

  • The use of the cited completion certificate and diploma templates is required.

d. Guidelines on awarding of honors to learners from Grade 1 to 12 as stipulated in DO No. 36, s. 2016, entitled Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program shall be followed.

e. Moving up or graduating rites shall be conducted in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the graduating students and their family and shall not be used as a political forum, in strict compliance with DO No. 48, s. 2018 entitled Prohibition of Electioneering and Partisan Political Activity.

f. No DepEd personnel shall be allowed to collect any kind of contribution or graduation/moving up fee.

For Public Schools

Expenses relative to the activity shall be charged against the school’s Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE). For the Alternative Learning System (ALS), expenses to be incurred for the conduct of the activity may be charged to the Calendar Year 2023 ALS Program Support Funds.

For Private Schools, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs)

Private schools, HEIs, TVIs, SUCs, and LUCs offering basic education or any grade levels thereof, may opt to adopt the provisions of this DO as basis in the conduct of their moving up/graduation ceremonies.

Casual or formal wear, or school uniform, shall remain as the recommended moving up/graduation attire. Toga or sablay is allowed to be worn as an additional garb.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The School Heads shall be primarily responsible for supervising the implementation of this policy in their schools, ensuring that the provisions are communicated to all concerned stakeholders in the school community.

The Regional Offices and Schools Division Offices shall monitor the compliances of schools with this Order.

Feedback shall be submitted to the DepEd, through the Office of the Director IV of the Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), to be used in evaluating the policy for continuous improvement of its design and implementation. The Office of the Director IV of the BLD may be reached through email at bld.od@deped.gov.ph or at telephone numbers 8637-4346 and 8637-4347.

Effectivity/Transitory Provisions

This Order shall take effect immediately upon its approval and shall remain in force and in effect for the duration of the K-to-12 Basic Education Program, unless sooner repealed, amended or rescinded. Certified copies of this Order shall be filed with the University of the Philippines Law Center-Office of the National Administrative Register (UPLC-ONAR), UP Diliman, Quezon City.

All DepEd Orders, Memoranda, and other related issuances, rules, regulations and provisions which are inconsistent with these guidelines are hereby repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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