“Let us work together to ensure that children continue to smile: their faces serene, filled with joy and hope.”
These were the words of Pope Francis in a tweet that he posted during the World Children’s Day celebrations in November 2017.
The Santo Papa couldn’t have said it any better. Indeed, it must be everyone’s duty to build a community that brings about a culture of love, inspiration, and hope amongst the members of the younger generation.
Such duty is what the Department of Education (DepEd) hopes to prioritize through its Brigada Eskwela program.
For 16 years now, Brigada Eskwela has been promoting a culture of bayanihan among education stakeholders. Every year, local teachers, parents, students, and volunteers would come together to repaint, repair, and check all school facilities. This is to ensure that young students get to love and enjoy their stay in school for the rest of the year.
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For this year, however, DepEd tries on a different approach following its announcement that the long-running Brigada Eskwela program––which used to be held only during the month of May––will now be implemented throughout the year.
“This year, more community involvement and strengthened partnerships are expected––not just during the week-long activity, but throughout the school year,” wrote DepEd in a Facebook post.
This may not necessarily mean that locals will be seen repainting and repairing school facilities throughout the year. According to Education Secretary Leonor Briones, the shift will be more than just focusing on maintenance of school facilities.
“More than painting or cleaning schools, we must also ensure that we provide our learners with the essentials of quality basic education,” Briones said in a message that was read at the official launch of Brigada Eskwela 2019 in Alfonso, Cavite, on May 16.
While there are no further details yet as to how DepEd plans to provide said essentials for quality basic education, Brigada Eskwela 2019 has nonetheless kicked off its annual program last Monday, May 20. Flocks of volunteers have reportedly trooped together in different public schools across the country to participate in the program.
Want to be part of Brigada Eskwela 2019? You still have the chance to volunteer! Just go to the nearest public school in your community and inquire about the bayanihan program. Repair and maintenance efforts run until May 25, Friday, or a week before the opening of classes on June 3.