67 International Baccalaureate students from the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, were awarded diplomas in a virtual graduation ceremony. The diploma is equivalent to a Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

More than 400 households all over the world followed the graduation ceremony online. Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak, graduates from more than 10 countries, could not attend their graduation ceremony physically. Some of the graduates were from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and India.

“We wanted to hold this ceremony for our students as these times are unpredictable. A lot of our graduates don’t live in Kenya. So even if the school were to open, we were unsure whether all students could make it to the ceremony. By having it virtually, everyone was together, celebrating together,” the academy said.

How the school pulled off a virtual graduation ceremony

The virtual graduation, which was a first for the school, was its 14th graduation. The school had been planning the ceremony for a long time.

“To make this virtual graduation ceremony a success, we had to compile videos from our students and staff, along with recordings of speeches on campus with the individuals who live in it,” the head of the academy, Ms Alison Hampshire, pointed out.

Ms Hampshire lauded the graduates for their hard work and resilience during their two years of study in the school.

“Today we have a cohort filled with kind, confident, talented, globally-minded and ethical leaders, each of whom we are confident will lead and excel in their chosen career fields. It has been a privilege to witness each and every one of these students develop both personally and academically over the past two years,” Ms Hampshire said in a statement.

In spite of their graduation being held online, the excitement was still present among the graduates.

“My TV screen was radiating so much emotion, pride and happiness. I sat there with tears in my eyes and a heart full of joy. I am so thankful for the Aga Khan Mombasa community and the beautiful graduation they prepared for us,” Laiqa Walli,  from Dar es Salam, Tanzania said.

The graduates have been offered university scholarships worth Sh630 million and admission letters to prestigious schools like the University of British Columbia, Cambridge, Yale, Pratt Institute, McGill and Concordia universities.