SINGAPORE - A student from Nanyang Polytechnic turned up for his convocation ceremony last week with a hood covering his entire face.
Chinese evening daily Shin Min reported on Sunday that the student remained faceless even when receiving his certificate on stage during the ceremony for the School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) last Thursday. According to Shin Min, there were two other students who also donned such hoods, but they took them off before receiving their certificates.
In a photo, school director Daniel Tan appeared to be more amused than annoyed by the prank. The prankster's fellow students who spoke to Shin Min were also not surprised by his antic, as such "creativity" is common in the school, they said.
Although those from the school did not think much of the stunt, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, said that such actions are unacceptable.
"Graduation ceremonies are solemn occasions marking the end of individuals' learning journeys, and are taken very seriously by students and parents alike," Mr Lim told Shin Min.
He added that the student should not have attended the ceremony if he did not want to be recognised.
This year, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) are discouraging students from taking selfies and wefies on stage, a practice which started only in the last couple of years. With more than 18,800 students graduating from both universities and 41 ceremonies between July and early August, such antics would not only be inappropriate but cause the ceremonies to drag on, the universities said.
NUS, which put up an online advisory this year on appropriate etiquette when collecting a degree, reminded students to "accord due respect to the presiding officer" by limiting contact to a handshake. On its website, NUS also said that with the large number of graduates at each ceremony, time could not be spared for such delays. At NTU, ushers will remind students before they collect their scrolls not to disrupt each session by taking pictures on stage.
Recently, a student from Malaysia's Universiti Teknologi Mara was suspended for taking a selfie on stage during his graduation ceremony. The picture went viral on social media and received widespread criticism with many saying the student's act was disrespectful.