No matter what grade levels are taught in your school, the end of the school year offers a special opportunity to recognize those students who make up the school’s “senior” class. Commencement marks the end of a long journey for senior high students and the beginning of another chapter of their respective lives, whether that means stepping into the workforce or continuing their education. It’s a proud moment for students and parents alike, and one that many didn’t get to formally celebrate in 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic scrambled senior high school graduation plans altogether.

          Many schools are approaching graduation ceremonies with lessons learned from a year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the class of 2021 graduates is finally getting their moment in the spotlight. On the 13th  of July 2021 at 2 pm, Paranaque National High School (PNHS) – Baclaran held its 4th commencement exercises for the senior high school students via Facebook Livestream with the tagline “Strengthening the Quality of Education Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic” The ceremony starts with the processional or welcoming of the Candidates for Graduation, Faculty, Parents, School Officials, Guest, and DepEd Officials. Followed by the Philippine National Anthem, Doxology, and the Regional and Division hymn. Mr. Gerry C. Catchillar delivered an opening message and presented the Grade 12 Students. Hon. Eric L. Olivarez and Hon. Edwin L. Olivarez delivered an inspirational message for all the graduating students. Followed by the giving of diploma and reading of the message of Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones. Many schools recognize special students at their graduation ceremonies and so as our school, two students with the highest honor delivered a message and a pledge of loyalty. It wouldn’t be complete without a graduation song and alma mater song. The ceremony ends with the recessional.

        The pandemic has been a shared nightmare for many due to the loss of life, jobs, and human interactions. And while higher education has faced losses in terms of auxiliary revenues and slumping enrollment, there have also been moments of hope and the recognition that COVID-19 has opened the door to more inclusive online environments and more robust use of learning tools and technologies, some observers say.