DepEd suspends all graduation rites nationwide amid COVID-19 crisis

The Department of Education (DepEd) announced Monday there would be no graduation rites nationwide as the country faces disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said that while Luzon is still under the enhanced community quarantine, other local government units in Visayas and Mindanao also agreed with the suspension of graduation rites activities.

“Alam natin na closed na ang classes, tapos na, pero walang graduation. I know disappointment ito para sa mga pamilya pero under present condition hindi natin ito pinahihintulutan,” she said in an interview on GMA’s Unang Balita.

(We know classes ended but with no graduation. I know this is a disappointment to the families, but under our present condition, we cannot allow it.)

“This is not the first time na pinopostpone. Hindi naman kinakansela, pinopostpone lang (Graduation is not canceled, only postponed),” she added.

Also read: WHO Guide on COVID-19 Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding

DepEd secretary survives COVID-19

The education department chief herself was infected by COVID-19 and recently recovered from the disease.

“Early this morning nag-text sa akin si [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque na ang resulta ng test ko, sa akin lamang, ay negative,” Briones said in an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita.

(Health Secretary Duque text me early this morning, and he said my test result is now negative.

“Para akong may death sentence na na-pardon at the last minute,” Briones said at a later interview on Dobol B sa News TV when asked on how she felt after hearing the good news.

(I felt like I have a death sentence granted with pardon at the last minute.)

Briones had been in self-quarantine since April 8 after she found out that she tested positive for COVID-19 based on the samples taken from her on April 2.

“Hinihintay pa namin ang resulta sa pamilya ko [we are still waiting for my family’s results),” she said on Unang Balita.

Briones is already 79 years old, and she said she also tried traditional remedies and boosted her immune system while fighting against the pandemic.

“I’m still being careful dahil ‘yung aking staff, mga 25 of them, are also undergoing tests pa. Hindi ibig sabihin magiging careless lang tayo… Kailangan makipag-cooperate pa rin sa lahat ng mga mandato at advise ng Department of Health,” Briones said.