The national kick-off program and caravan of the 16th Brigada Eskwela is slated on May 16, 2019 at Alfonso Central Elementary School in Cavite, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday.
Tonisito Umali, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service, said this year’s theme is “Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan”.
Umali said it reflects the importance of the community in making schools the best place for learners to acquire the values and competencies they need to contribute in nation-building.
“Ipinapakita nito na ang konsepto ng bayanihan ay mangyayari hindi lamang bago magpasukan, kundi maging buong taon (This shows the concept of bayanihan happens not only during school opening but the entire year),” he added.
Citing that program has been around for almost two decades, Umali said it has generated a total of PHP4.66 billion worth of resources and its volunteers nationwide doubled from 11 million in 2017 to 22 million in 2018.
“Patunay lamang po ito na patuloy pang lumawig ang kaalaman ng ating mamamayan upang dumami ang nakikipagkaisa at lalong mapaunlad ang ating bayan, mapatatag ang ating mga paaralan, at lubusang mapakinabangan ng ating mga mag-aaral (This proves that the knowledge of citizens has increased and that volunteers will continue to increase for the development of our nation, strengthening our schools, so students could fully benefit from them),” he said.
Established in 2003, Brigada Eskwela has addressed the resources gaps faced by the DepEd through strengthened partnerships with the local communities.
The initiative mobilizes thousands of parents, alumni, civic groups, local businesses, non-government organizations, teachers, students, and individuals who volunteer their time and skills to do repairs on the school buildings and facilities in time for school opening.
In its year of implementation, a total of 12,533 schools participated as against the 4,000 expected school participants.
In 2008, it has become a permanent activity in the school calendar where all schools nationwide are now mandated to implement the program every second week of May. (Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA)