GRADUATION: THE ‘FINAL’ WALK

7 Jul

I remember it like it was yesterday…but should I say it or them because they have been so many.  My mom bought me a pretty pink dress because she was obsessed with pink for girls. My gown was yellow.  When I got to high school however, pretty dresses were not needed. Uniform it was.

By now you would have figured out I am referring to graduation.   It is that time of year  when several stores will stock up on the elegant white heels, fancy dresses, suits and all the suitable fashionable garb for this occasion; parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends… you name it, excitedly prepare to watch their loved ones take that final walk.  I will not even mention the hair & nail salons…  Not even the child who is graduating is so excited.

 

I understand the excitement, joy and pride because graduation IS a privilege, NOT a right especially at the high school level. At the infant and primary level, this may not be the actuality but in the high schools it is.  There are some who may disagree with me on this.  Having spent five years in an institution, one may think that is an automatic qualification to graduate. The question here is how did you spend those five years?    There are some students who during their five years have displayed extreme negative behaviour to the point where their leaving high school is a relief to most.  On the other hand, there are those who have displayed extreme positive behaviours.  So I asked, do you think it would be fair to reward both parties with similar incentive? I think not.   It therefore means it is the responsibility of institution to establish standards/criteria for this.  While some persons may not support the institution’s graduation policies, they ought to be respected.

These policies help students to remain accountable not only to themselves but their parent as well.  Even though graduation is not the end all, all students want to take that walk….that walk where all eyes are on you; that walk that says I’ve made it!; that walk that says this is the end and the beginning…that proud moment.   Their accountability involves them avoiding activities that may cause them a suspension (whether in-house or sent home), completing all assignments and course work, participate in extra-curricular activities, be punctual and attend school regularly, etc… These criteria will result in an institution having a cohort of students with minimal disciplinary problems.

 

Here are some basic guidelines for Graduation

To be included in the graduating class of their school year, all students must:

  • Attend school for a minimum of 85-90% of the school year.
  •  be punctual for 90% of the school year.
  •  have an average of a minimum of 60% for the academic year.
  • have a clean disciplinary track record e.g no suspension or any other misdemeanour that is not in keeping with the standards of the institution within their last two years of high school-especially the final year.
  • Actively involved in at least three extra-curricular activities
  • Complete 50 hours of community service within their last two years of high school

These suggestions are not carved in stones.  The administration must tailor its guidelines based on the need of the institution.

the well anticipated hat throwing….Follow the school rules and you will get to do this.

 

The tears of Graduation

The eyes tend to be cleansed thoroughly at this time of the year as the tears are never far away for one reason or another.

Tears of disappointment: Over the years, I have witnessed tears uncontrollably streaming down students faces who have not made the graduation list. Panic. Fear. You name it. I have seen parents cry, begged, frustrated and angry at their child/ren for being excluded from the graduating class.   While I understand the pain and disappointment parents, it is not the end all. Not the end of the world. Graduation is just one aspect.    When your child submits application for university or a job, they will not be asked if they had graduated high school.  What will be of paramount importance is the number of subjects they would have received.   Graduation is just one night of feel good but a lasting memory. Thus I understand why persons would be saddened by not being a part of it BUT if your child did not make it, there are still other moments to come.

 

Tears of Pride:  for most parents, it is hard to accept the reality that their child has grown up and so this day is one of ambivalence.  It is always amazing to watch the tears freely flowing down the faces of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc… as they proudly watched their ‘little’ girls and boys whom they gave birth to only ‘recently’ take their final walk as a high school student.   Mind you, some are able to control their emotions but it is written all over their faces with wide smiles.

 

Tears of separation: Five years may sound like a long time but it is amazing how quickly it passes.  During those five years, friendships have been made, lost and re-made.  Some connections are so strong that when those students have collected their certificates and have taken the walk, all they do it just cry.  Not cry because they are leaving school, but cry because reality has set in.  They will be leaving the friendships of the last five years behind, close the chapter of that book, and go to commence a new one.

With all this excitement, an institution must contribute to this memory of its graduates by making the day extra-ordinary- A graduation with a difference!

teachers at Holy Childhood High preparing for graduation 2012

teachers at Holy Childhood High preparing for graduation 2013

 

Need consultation on devising guidelines for graduation? Need consultation on strategies to ensure 100% compliance among students?  Need consultation to host a graduation with a difference?  Email rainereid@gmail.com  We are taking education beyond the margin.

If you have vivid memories of your graduation, please feel free to share. At Rainereid Educators Block, we are always glad to hear from you.

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One Response to “GRADUATION: THE ‘FINAL’ WALK”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. GRADUATION ─ A TWISTED PRIORITY IN THE EDUCATION PROCESS | Rainereid's Educators Block - July 23, 2015

    […] There is a high level of delinquency among parents when it comes to paying school fees that is unfathomable. School fees are important to the daily function of an institution. This is how the utilities and several other bills are paid. When parents do not pay these fees, then added pressure is placed on the institution. Because of this high level of delinquency, some schools (possibly all or most) made the decision to marry the payment of school fees to the Final Walk. […]

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