GWANGJU, Jan. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Gwangcheon Elementary School in the southwestern city of Gwangju was silent on Tuesday as a graduation ceremony took place amid the coronavirus spread.
Only 70 graduates were present in each of their classrooms. Parents carrying flowers or juniors singing songs of farewell were nowhere to be seen.
Because the school transitioned into online classes this month, the graduation day was the graduates’ first and last day of school this year.
What might have ended in a depressing ceremony, however, became special after a streamed video of people congratulating the graduates showed up on a screen.
The graduates, through televisions set up in each classroom, saw their parents and siblings congratulating them on the screen. It was a heart-warming gesture unlike any other previous ‘offline’ graduations.
Junior students, too, bid farewell to graduates through the screen.
Following the video ceremony, teachers gave out graduation certificates decorated by poems and drawings done by the graduates themselves, taking photos of each and every graduate receiving the certificates to send them to their parents.
The graduates wished that they would be ‘free from the pandemic’ when they enter middle school.
“I miss those times when I was able to play soccer with my friends at recess,” said Choi Hwan-seok, one of the graduates.
“I want to play outside as much as I want when I get to middle school.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)