MANILA – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Vice President Sara Z. Duterte cited on Monday the "bayanihan" (working together) spirit as one of the essence of the Brigada Eskwela during its kick-off this year held at the Tarlac National High School.
Duterte also cited the agency's Department Order No. 21, series of 2023, or the Brigada Eskwela Implementing Guidelines that schools can use to sustain partnership engagement activities and ensure its alignment with the components of the "MATATAG" Agenda.
“MATATAG” (Stable) involves making the curriculum relevant to produce competent and job-ready, active, and responsible citizens; taking steps to accelerate the delivery of basic education facilities and services, including plans to build more resilient schools and classrooms in 2023 and around 6,000 classrooms; taking good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education and a positive learning environment; and giving support to teachers to teach better.
“Brigada Eskwela [or] Schools Maintenance Week, on the other hand, is an appeal to the bayanihan spirit of every Filipino to help prepare our schools for the opening of classes,” Duterte said in her speech.
With the theme “Bayanihan Para sa Matatag na Paaralan,” this year’s Brigada Eskwela underscored the country’s volunteer initiatives to ensure a clean, safe, inclusive and child-friendly learning environment for learners and teaching and non-teaching personnel, and strengthen resiliency of schools and basic education.
“Ang Brigada Eskwela is pina-simple po namin, kung nakita ninyo sa Department Order na ilinabas namin. Pina-simple namin para maintindihan ng lahat. (We made Brigada Eskwela simpler if you saw the Department Order. We made it simpler for all to better understand it). It is just making our schools functional, clean, and orderly, inside and outside classrooms, and within school sites,” she added.
Scheduled from Aug. 14 to 19, the advocacy program aims to encourage more local governments, communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations and other local and national partners to support the implementation of Brigada Eskwela and contribute in adequately preparing public schools for the opening of classes on Aug. 29.
To date, DepEd has received about PHP44 million donations from partners for public schools nationwide and about PHP1.6 million donations for Tarlac National High School.
The DepEd announced that for this year’s Brigada Eskwela, there will no longer be contests for Best Implementing School Awards, Hall of Fame Awards and Brigada Plus at the national level to emphasize the true spirit of volunteerism.
However, schools, districts and divisions may still give recognition to partners and stakeholders who participated.
This move is to completely prevent the schools, school heads, teachers, and other personnel from holding solicitations to raise contributions for the conduct of its Brigada Eskwela activities.
During the kick-off event, Duterte also visited the booths of DepEd’s 31 partner organizations who participated in the exhibit that showcases their support, contributions, and initiatives for public schools nationwide. (PNA)