#BrigadaEskwela kicks off nationwide
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of teachers, students, and volunteers gathered in various public schools nationwide on Monday, May 15, as the Department of Education (DepEd) launched Brigada Eskwela in preparation for the resumption of classes in June 2017.
From the Cordillera Regional Science High School in La Trinidad, Benguet to Ipil National High School in Zamboanga Sibugay, teachers, students, and parents took part in cleaning their schools to make facilities ready for learners starting on June 5.
In Rosario Elementary School in Cavite, members of the Rosario General PTA Federation participated in the activity, which drew hundreds of Brigada volunteers.
"Handa kaming tumulong para sa ating paaralan,” said Mario Buenaflor, president of the federation. (We are ready to help for the school.)
At the Rosario Almarion Elementary School in Tondo, Manila, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the nationwide drive as they helped clean classrooms and move chairs.
Launched in 2003, Brigada Eskwela is an annual community-based program that aims to promote "bayanihan" spirit among education stakeholders to prepare public school facilities for the upcoming school year.
The drive has generated increased support from education stakeholders throughout the years: from P1.5 billion in 2012, generated resources and support has increased to P7.3 billion or 21%, according to the DepEd.
“With these figures, kitang kita po natin kung paano naging matagumpay ang Brigada Eskwela sa pagsulong ng mga taon,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said. “For this year, 2017, if we equal what we have done last year, that by itself is already an achievement. But I’m sure that we will surpass it.” (With these figures, we can see clearly how successful Brigada Eskwela has been in the past years.)
Not just a clean-up drive
This year, it is no longer just the usual clean-up drive for Brigada Eskwela. The program also consists of other activities like anti-illegal drug use campaign, distribution of pencils gathered under the One Million Lapis Campaign, earthquake and fire drills, and tree-planting events.
With the theme “Isang DepEd, Isang Pamayanan, Isang Bayanihan para sa Handa at Ligtas na Paaralan,” this year’s drive also highlights one of the Duterte administration’s priorities in the education sector – the Alternative Learning System.
“Many of our children are still unable to join the formal learning system. With all its improvements and opportunities, meron pa ring hindi nakakaabot dahil sa poverty, school’s distance, early marriages,” Briones said during the nationwide launch in Cebu City.
(With all its improvements and opportunities, there are still those who don't reach school because of poverty, school distance, and early marriages, among other issues.)
Brigada Eskwela runs until Friday, May 20, in all public elementary and high schools nationwide. Deped continues to urge members of the community to join in the campaign in their respective areas. – Rappler.com
Find out how you can take part of Brigada Eskwela here.