AIT International School holds a Virtual Graduation for its 6th Grade graduates kept home by the COVID-19 situation
By Kanda Yaemboonruang
The AIT International School (AITIS) this week introduced some innovation into its annual graduation ceremony during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, when an AIT robot represented members of its Grade 6 Graduating Class and received their graduation certificates from the school principal, while proud parents and the young graduates watched online from home.
At the AITIS Virtual Graduation Ceremony 2020, Principal Ms. Oluwayemisi Ayoola Thomas warmly congratulated each of the 27 young graduates by handing over their certificates to the robot, which displayed the beaming young face of each graduate it represented.
The special event on June 10 was carried live via the internet from the Robert B. Banks Auditorium, AIT. The number of teachers, and technical staff was limited, and social distancing was practiced to ensure a safe environment for all.
Commenting on the children’s achievements in the face of the coronavirus, Principal Thomas said: “You have more than proved to us in these past three months that you are ready for the challenges ahead. You kept on studying, as the whole world was going through this pandemic crisis that drove us out of our comfort zone - the classroom. Through it all, you came through with flying colors and you have accomplished the impossible!”
Mr. Russell Rein, AIT Vice President of Administration, said that graduation day is one of the most special and memorable experiences that all students should have, and the children deserved to celebrate their graduation even during the coronavirus pandemic. “This is why we were determined to celebrate this virtual graduation ceremony at the AITIS, and with the help of our own technology and experts on campus, this special event for our Grade 6 graduates materialized,” he said.
The robot is designed by the Industrial Systems Engineering Program at the AIT School of Engineering and Technology and was made available by Prof. Manukid Parnichkun and his graduate students at the Advanced Robotics Lab. All dressed up as a graduate in gown and mortarboard, it artfully navigated back and forth across the auditorium stage with the help of research specialist Mr. Hoang Hung Manh. Following the ceremony, the robot returned to its normal duty station at the AIT Library. Live streaming was provided by technicians from the AIT intERLab and ITSERV.
Mr. Rein added: “For AITIS, we are proud that all our young graduates leave us at this point in time, to go on to other primary and middle schools around Thailand and sometimes they even go overseas, which is why it is very important for us to commemorate the time that they’ve had with us at the AITIS. We wanted to make sure that it would be a moment for them to remember. Even though they are not here in person, I have a feeling they felt like they were back home at AITIS today.”