By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY – As the school year 2020-2021 draws close to an end, the Department of Education (DepEd) in Bicol reminded school officials on Monday that holding face to face (F2F) closing ceremonies are still not allowed in the region.

Gilbert Sadsad, DepEd-Bicol regional director, in a virtual press conference on Monday said holding a closing ceremony is not mandatory under the guidelines issued by their central office.

“There is a national memorandum issued by our central office signed by Secretary (Leonor) Briones. If ever there will be a closing ceremony this school year, it is not mandatory for them. It must be agreed and consulted with the parents and other stakeholders,” he said.

Sadsad said a school can hold a house-to-house recognition ceremony as an option for a face-to-face activity wherein school officials can go to the home of a graduating student to award the diploma.

“For example, after parents and teachers talked about the closing ceremony and the parents want to see his/her son or daughter wear a toga and be given certificate or medals, they can do house-to-house awarding,” he added.

Sadsad said teachers in the region are very creative in giving the best for their students particularly in recognizing their efforts.

Meanwhile, Dr. Israel Parra, DepEd-Bicol medical official, said at least 385 employees of the agency already received coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.

“Our office is still conducting ongoing master listing to know how many from 76,000 employees of DepEd Bicol are needed to be listed in the priority list,” he added.

Sadsad noted that the availability of vaccines for their employees depends on the allocation of the Department of Health (DOH).

“We really want all of our employees from teaching and non-teaching staff to receive or be vaccinated but we are dependent on the slots are given by the DOH,” he added.

The last day of the school year 2020-2021 is on July 10 and recognition and closing ceremonies may be held from July 12-16. (PNA)