EDITORIAL | Diploma musings

Many people attach emotions to a diploma, equating it to a symbol of years of hard work and sacrifice not only by the students but also by their families.

Many Filipino parents would also say this is the most important and valuable heirloom they can bestow to their children.

But one must not forget that a diploma is simply a certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.

It is neither an assurance that the bearer would be successful in life, nor that he/she would offer valuable contributions to society.

Indeed, many diploma holders, even those who have additional medals to adorn their necks on graduation day, end up being dishonest, irresponsible and unjust citizens.

On the flipside, many people who do not have such documents, are able to become conscientious, honorable individuals.

There is something intrinsically wrong, therefore, on the excessive value placed on the diploma as a symbol of education.

By equating diploma holders to educated people, we gloss over the more important values that society, especially today’s extremely competitive, postdigital age, demand.

Among these are integrity and honesty, adaptability, dependability, willingness to learn, leadership, humility, along with a healthy dose of “diskarte,” or the ability to strategize wisely.

One must never assume that all diploma holders possess these values, in the same way that one cannot presuppose that those sans diplomas do not have these, as well.

We are not saying that a diploma is a useless scrap of paper. However, we must remember that the information it holds regarding a person’s ability to succeed, or his or her character, is sorely incomplete.

For the graduates: receive your diploma, and use it to remind you of your success at completing school requirements. But do not ever use it to oppress others, especially those who did not have the same opportunities you had.

Happy graduation, and keep learning!