Polytechnic students hold virtual graduation ceremonies
With graduation ceremonies called off, some polytechnic students have conducted them virtually.
One group had the idea of holding the ceremony on the video game Minecraft, rendering their school auditorium with 5,000 blocks. It was compiled and uploaded in an Instagram video.
Led by Temasek Polytechnic (TP) student Ethan Ong, 20, the group of eight communication students spent four hours building the hall, referring to pictures of the TP auditorium.
Mr Ong, who has been playing Minecraft since 2010, told The New Paper: "We were all quite disappointed when we heard the ceremony was cancelled, so we thought it would be cool to host it on Minecraft."
Minecraft enables players to build entire universes from digital blocks with friends online.
The group agreed to meet with their in-game avatars dressed in graduation gowns on April 10.
Mr Ong said they had planned the 30-minute event in chronological order, beginning with a speech, delivered in comedic fashion by a friend.
The avatars marched in line on to the stage to collect their "certificates" as their names were read, before tossing their certificates in celebration.
Another like-minded group of TP communication students held their graduation ceremony on video conferencing platform Zoom and uploaded a compilation online.
Miss Anne Zenn Tan, 20, said her friends had the idea when their school uploaded digital templates of TP landmarks, which they used as their backgrounds on Zoom.
She said: "We wanted to film it and make it feel like we had a ceremony. Everyone was so down on social media so we wanted to lift their spirits."
On April 6, they agreed to get ready and meet online, where they started with a "walk-in" and was hosted by an "emcee".
She added: "It was all completely unnecessary, but it was a good laugh."
In a Facebook post, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung related to the disappointment of students who could not attend their ceremonies and said he had never attended any of his graduation ceremonies.
He wrote: "If you are in your final year, trust me, years from now, you will not miss the graduation ceremony.
"But do mark the occasion at home with your loved ones... I am sure you can come up with much better ideas to celebrate the occasion than mine."