DepEd uses Microsoft solutions to enable virtual graduation ceremonies nationwide

The Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with Microsoft to help schools hold virtual commencement exercises through the “graduation-in-a-box” solution powered by Microsoft 365 as part of the #Hello2020Graduates program launched on May 13.

Powered by Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform, Microsoft 365, #Hello2020Graduates gives schools access to Office webapps, intelligent cloud services, and security. Through Microsoft Teams, schools are able to host the graduation ceremonies through the Teams’ Live Event feature that allows a maximum of 10,000 users to watch the ceremony anywhere in the world — allowing the students’ family members who are abroad, or in other parts of the Philippines, to participate.

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#Hello2020Graduates is easily deployable, requiring minimum internet connectivity and comes with a DepEd-approved technical guide and manual, which follows the standard graduation flow including the marching of students, the delivery of honor students’ speeches, and even special DepEd representatives and school administrators’ farewell addresses.

Available to all public and private schools from the 17 Regions of the Philippines, the program was first adopted by Region 11, starting May 13, 2020.

Pilot run

Three schools were involved in the pilot run, Ruparan National High School in Digos City, Cornelio Reta Sr. Elementary School in Davao City and Panabo City Senior High School in Panabo City. A total of 631 students participated in the pilot ceremonies. Since then, five more schools held their virtual graduations in Region 11, giving another 831 students the opportunity to celebrate their commencements. All in all, 1,462 students from 8 schools in Region 11.

DepEd and Microsoft have worked closely throughout the last three months in a joint effort to enable collaboration and remote learning for schools nationwide. Today, Microsoft Teams connects the 17 Regional offices nationwide to proactively identify and address issues and opportunities concerning teachers and learners.