With this year’s theme, “Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan”, the Department of Education (DepEd) spearheaded the 2019 Brigada Eskwela National Kick-off and Caravan held at Alfonso Central School in Alfonso Cavite on May 16, 2019. The event was attended by DepEd key officials from the Central, Regional and CALABARZON Division Offices.
Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service Tonisito Umali discussed the overview of the Brigada Eskwela Program which was first launched in 2003. He recounted that during the first implementation of the program, they expected only 4,000 schools will participate but fortunately a total of 12, 533 schools participated the said program. In 2008, Brigada Eskwela was institutionalized and permanently became part of the school calendar nationwide.
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn M. Sevilla delivered a message from DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones who was not able to grace the event. In her letter, she emphasized that Brigada Eskwela is not the school or the teacher’s responsibility alone, but is primarily the responsibility of the community – it is a national responsibility.
In a press conference conducted after the program, Usec. Sevilla said that approximately 26, 000 classrooms will be built nationwide and also highlighted the importance of the activity towards a better learning environment. She stated that Brigada Eskwela does not end in a weeklong activity but it should be yearlong activity to ensure quality basic education for all learners.
Part of the Kick-off activity was the Brigada Eskwela Bayanihan in Pansin Elementary School and Kaysuyo National High School. The said schools received donations which include cleaning materials, paint materials and cement from private stakeholders.
Advocacy campaigns and orientation about anti-illegal drugs, disaster and livelihood trainings were also done simultaneously. Cavite products were also showcased in a trade fair exhibit.
Alfonso Mayor Virgilio Varias and DepEd-Cavite Schools Division Superintendent Cherrylou D. Repia warmly welcomed all the delegates. Other guests present were Silang Mayor Omil Poblete, Mendez Mayor Eric Vida, Amadeo Vice Mayor Junel Bayot, Alfonso Vice Mayor Randy Salamat, Magallanes Councilor Aina Sisante and PYSDO Head Vince Bae, on behalf of Gov. Boying Remulla.
Brigada Eskwela or National Schools Maintenance Week will be observed in all public elementary and secondary schools on May 20-25, 2019.