July 18, 2024

The season of graduation and mo-ving up ceremonies in basic education institutions is commonly ushered in with sending successful learners congratulatory words for a job well done, a nice pat in the back, and urging them to “break a leg” in their journey of moving up in the education ladder.
Who could be more proud than the parents, who have bottomless wells of stories of hard work and sacrifice in sending their children to school so that they can have a shot for a better life in the future? For their sheer happiness and pride, nobody should blame parents – wealthy or financially challenged – in rewarding their children’s achievements however they wanted their children feel appreciated.
We find it disheartening and consider it unfortunate that this moment of celebration for the graduating and moving up learners and their parents and teachers is marred with criticisms when some parents choose to reward their children’s hard work in their studies with money, particularly those who joined the bandwagon of giving garlands made out of money bills or handing bouquets of money instead of flowers to their children during graduation or moving up rites.
The deed, which has been made prominent in social media through posted images of children with money garlands or bouquets, is becoming another issue being hurled against the country’s educational system and family values.
It is disappointing, because it piles upon the numerous concerns of the Department of Education, which has been facing challenges on deteriorating quality of education and for its alleged failure to address the perennial concerns on lack of school facilities and manpower and insufficient salaries for teachers, among others.
As in any other celebration of milestones, some parents opt to give their children money as a reward for their scholastic achievements and milestones. There are also those who offer their moral support or express their pride silently through a prayer of gratitude. Either way, this is a matter of discretion and capability, with one not better than the other.
What divides the public on the issue is the impact of appreciating learners’ achievements when done in front of an audience or when capturing the moment and shared on social media.
We see the point of some teachers and DepEd officials who appealed to parents giving the monetary rewards to present them after the ceremony and not when their children are being recognized on stage.
A teacher advised that not all students come from well-to-do families whose parents can afford the same token of appreciation for their child. Ima-gine its impact on a child who may feel inadequate and resentful for not ha-ving well-off parents, adding their purpose should be to appreciate, not to show off their wealth.
We agree.
Educational attainments should reflect not only on academic ratings, but also in how we learn to be sensitive and considerate others’ situation, may be they of equal footing or have less in life, among other aspects of good moral character and right conduct.
Using the social media to share such images and practically anything is also a matter of “my page, my rules”, but just the same, while everyone is entitled to such freedom, discretion in sharing things online should be observed responsibly and conscientiously.
We do not oppose the action of some parents to reward their children with money as a graduation gift in any form they choose. But we believe in appreciating a job well done with a simple yet sincere hug of congratulations, and in parents assuring their children they have all the love, support, and guidance they need in achieving their goals and carving their own future.
That, we believe, is a most worthwhile form of reward that money cannot buy and which our children will truly appreciate and adopt for their future children, and further generations to come.