Taguig City pilots cyber-graduation ceremonies with student-made robots; provides cash incentives to graduates and achievers
Safe City initiative
What is the next best thing to a real graduation? A virtual graduation with robots in attendance.
On May 22, Senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High School (SRCC) held Taguig’s pilot “Cyber-Graduation Ceremonies,” rites in all public elementary and secondary schools that would send off Batch 2020 without easing up the health and safety protocols of the COVID-19 community quarantine.
The afternoon rites at the SRCC Auditorium was attended by officials of Taguig, the Department of Education and SRCC, all of whom wore face masks and observed social distancing, and robots made by SRCC’s very own whiz kids from Taguig Robotics Team.
Toga-wearing robots received the diplomas in behalf of the 179 SRCC graduates. The live videos of the graduates were projected on the heads of the robots as their names were called to claim their diplomas.
Simultaneously, footage of the graduates’ families was displayed on the LED screen. The graduates themselves watched from home via Facebook Live with their families.
Later, in separate rites at Taguig’s 24 public elementary and 12 other public high schools, the same robots will receive the diplomas in lieu of nearly 17,000 other graduates.
The ceremonies are part of Taguig’s Safe City initiative, which helps the city undertake its programs with minimum health standards conforming with COVID-19 protocols.
“We know how deeply symbolic a graduation ceremony is for graduates and their parents,” said Mayor Lino Cayetano. “This is why we came up with a program that can help them celebrate their accomplishment while respecting health standards and policies during the COVID-19 community quarantines.”
This cyber-graduation originated in the Taguig City Education Office and the Taguig Robotics Team, a group of SRCC students that had won the city several gold medals at international tilts. The Taguig Robotics Team developed four remote-controlled robots fully made with recycled materials.
To further mark the graduation of the 16,923 graduates of Batch 2020, they will also receive incentives from the Taguig City government.
“We wanted to incentivize their achievements. Thus, we decided to give them cash incentives that can be beneficial to their families in these difficult times,” said Mayor Lino.
Under the cash incentive program, 12,931 Grade 6 graduates will receive P1,000 each. Meanwhile, P1,500 will go to 3,276 students graduating from Grade 12.
Those who had displayed academic excellence will continue receiving the incentives given in the past school years.
Top 1 students in the 24 public elementary schools and 13 public high schools in Taguig will receive P15,000 each. Those who came in second will get P12,500.
The rest of the Top 10 will receive P5,000 in Grade 6 and P7,500 in Grade 12.
Those who took first place in their sections will also get incentives of their own. Some 269 Grade 6 graduates will get P2,500 each and 77 Grade 12 graduates will get P5,000 each.
Video link of Mayor Lino’s speech