Summer bayanihan at brigada eskwela
Last May 20, 2013, the Light Cavalry Leadership Community (LCLC) of Xavier University High School – Ateneo de Cagayan (XUHS-ADC) participated in the annual Brigada Eskwela Program of the Department of Education at Balubal Elementary School, Upper Agusan, Cagayan de Oro City.
Over the years, the Brigada Eskwela effort has evolved from a week-long cleaning-up and beautification exercise to a festive coming together of students, teachers, school officials, parents, community members, local government officials, non-government organizations, church groups and the private sector. It has become one of DepEd’s major initiatives in enjoining local communities to respond to the needs of public schools and be part of a nationwide effort toward improving Philippine basic education.
Last May 16, 2013, through the Office of Student Activities and Social Involvement of XUHS-ADC, LCLC received an invitation from the school head of Balubal Elementary School, Mrs Marichelle Saga. As a volunteer group wanting to be at the frontiers for the service of the community, the LCLC, through the support of the XUHS-ADC administrators agreed to join the activity believing that this is something that could enrich their experience as volunteers and nation-builders most especially in the public school education system.
During these times, when one would expect young people to be maximizing the remaining days of their summer, the LCLC members chose to dedicate their day of service to Balubal Elementary School.
Their day started early as they travelled at about 7:15 in the morning. At about 8 am, after a long and bumpy ride, the LCLC members arrived at the school where they were welcomed by the teachers, parents and some students who participated in the first day of this year’s Brigada Eskwela.
This event is a series of firsts for both the LCLC and the Balubal Elementary School Community. It is the first time that LCLC of XUHS-ADC participated in a Brigada Eskwela program, especially in a far-flung public school area relative to their point of origin. Mrs Saga mentioned that it was the first time as well that a private school was able to help them in this activity.
Even if parents of the community are asked to actively participate to join the activity, she mentioned that there are still a lot of things that they need to prepare for the upcoming opening of classes. Likewise, several groups consider this as an opportunity to contribute something in preparing the said school. She further shares that Balubal Elementary School is just one of the schools that need this kind of help from other groups. There are other schools in the whole of Philippines that needs help from various groups and institutions.
The Brigada Eskwela for Balubal Elementary School will take place from May 20-24. On day one, aside from the LCLC, a lot of groups extended their support for this project. The police, the fire department and the PPCRV are just some of these groups. It is expected that more groups and members of the community will be working in this program as the days progress.
Police Inspector Jude Evangelista, the Deputy Station Commander of Puerto, CDO, took the opportunity to serve the school and build a more positive image of the police force. He said that the police are not just there to solve crimes but also to contribute to positive change in the community.
LCLC members - after immersing themselves with various activities such as cleaning classrooms, sorting files, and playing with the children - recognize that different stakeholders should render their support for our schools as there is very limited funding given to them for repair work. As partners in the educational arena, everyone is encouraged to mobilize their own circle of friends to participate in this endeavor and help in preparing public schools for the opening of classes.
Through LCLC’s participation in this activity, they learned that doing things together is more fun. Even if they worked for only half a day, they realized that their participation was meaningful most especially in the lives of students who deserve to be in a conducive environment for learning.
Moreover, they experienced and expressed the spirit of Bayanihan. They were actively involved in simple ways to contribute to the development of this country.
It has been said that things get solved easier and faster when done together. Thus, the LCLC, young as they are, felt the rush of being able to serve their country as stakeholders for the development of this nation. – Rappler.com
Samuel Macagba III is the coordinator of the Office of Student Activities and Social Involvement in Xavier University High School-Ateneo de Cagayan and one of the moderators of the Light Cavalry Leadership Community. He is also a member of the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance and actively participates as the representative for Ayala Young Leaders Alliance Region 10.