Robots with students’ faces march in Class of 2020 virtual graduation in quarantined Manila

robots virtual student graduation
The face of graduating student shows on the robot receiving the graduation certificates. Screengrab from I Love Taguig video.

Robots bearing the faces of students marched and received diplomas in a Taguig City school’s Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies held amid the community quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.

The innovative graduation rites held on May 22, 2020, at Senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano (SRCC) Memorial Science and Technology High School was held in lieu of mass assemblies that have been disallowed during the community quarantine.

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The Manila public school’s 179 graduates were flashed on the tablet faces of four robots that were dressed up with togas and pinned with corsages like the usual graduates. The actual student graduates and their families were watching the ceremonies on Facebook Live.

Physically present during the cyber graduation held in the school auditorium were officials from the school, city government, and the Department of Education, all wearing face masks and observing physical distancing protocols.

The virtual graduation rites were inspired by the work of the Taguig Robotics Team, a group of SRCC students who won gold medals at international robotics tilts, and the Taguig City Education Office.

Taguig City Education chief Dr. George Tizon said the virtual graduation helped them acknowledge students’ achievements with the use of technology.

“And this is why they decided to use technology in helping these students celebrate their accomplishment while respecting minimum health standards and without breaking policies that prohibit mass gatherings,” Tizon said.

Tizon announced the city mayor’s order for the cyber graduation to be adopted by all 24 public elementary and 12 other public high schools for the nearly 17,000 graduates of the Class of 2020.

Taguig City also announced it will give cash incentives to all graduates:

Php1,000 each to Grade 6 graduates
Php1,500 each to Grade 12 graduates
Php15,000 each to top students in each school
Php12,500 each to second-top graduates
Php5,000 each to top 3-10 in Grade 6
Php7,500 each top 3-10 in Grade 12

In 2019, the Philippines held a Filipino basketball-inspired robotics competition for students.

TELL US in the comments below, what do you think of the virtual graduation held amidst the coronavirus pandemic?

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