No More ‘Toga’ For Pre-School and Elementary Graduations?

Filipino children wearing graduation cap and gown
Filipino children wearing a graduation cap and gown. (Photo credit:

Manila – Representative Evie Escudero from 1st District in Sorsogon filed House Bill 2374, a bill that prohibits the use of ‘toga’ (graduation gown) for pre-school and elementary graduation ceremonies. She thinks that a ‘toga’ should be reserved only for those who complete the secondary, tertiary and higher education.

Filipino children wearing graduation cap and gown
Filipino children wearing their graduation cap and gown or ‘toga’.  (Photo credit:

According to her, letting preschool and elementary pupils wear a ‘toga’ during graduation rites might leave them the wrong impression that attaining that level is equivalent to graduating from secondary and higher education. “The toga is a symbol of triumph, achievement and status,” she added.

Escudero also stated that continuing this practice,  may affect the students and embed the wrong idea in their minds. She also pointed out that it is an additional expense for the parents as well.

She calls for the help and support of the government, and hope that through this bill, they could make parents, teachers and pupils understand that now, in this highly competitive world, these pupils must at least finish a secondary-level education to have a chance to succeed.

We must instill ambition in our young and encourage them to strive for more education,” said Escudero.

There are only 7.1 million students enrolled in Philippine high schools, which is less than half the number of the  14.4 million in elementary schools between the years 2011-2012,  according to the Department of Education website.  This means that more than half  of those in elementary schools do not continue on to high school and above.

To implement this Act effectively, the Department of Education must first issue necessary measures when passed as law.

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