Sunday, May 29, 2011
The Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela or National Schools Maintenance Week is getting the support of two international donor organizations which pledged to help spruce up public schools in time for the opening of classes on June 6, 2011.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have signified their participation to this year’s Brigada Eskwela by adopting public schools for repair and repainting.
“We expect more pledges of participation from the private sector and hopefully international agencies as the Brigada -- slated from May 23 to 28 -- draws nearer, “ said Luistro.
Brigada Eskwela is an annual schools clean up and repair activity spearheaded by Deped and participated in by NGOs, parents, students, teachers, the business sector, civic organizations, government and private sector employees.
It enjoins participants to donate construction and cleaning materials or serve as volunteers to prepare the schools two weeks before the opening of classes. It does not accept cash donations.
Last year, Brigada generated an equivalent amount of over P1.7 billion from donations in kind and manhours spent in school repairs which would have otherwise been taken from the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of public schools.
When Brigada was first launched in 2003, only 31% of all elementary and secondary public schools participated but because of overwhelming response from the public and the bayanihan spirit that it engendered, it was made an institutional annual event in 2008. Since then, Brigada is 100% participated in by all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.
Luistro said AusAid has committed to adopt schools for clean up and repair in Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao while USAID chose three schools it will help repair and repaint.
Luistro explained that Brigada stirs up a sense of community among the participants, especially among the students, as they work side by side with other education stakeholders towards a common cause.
“ We all want to make the schools clean and ready for the opening of schools so that by June 6, our students can buckle down to their regular school work,” he elaborated.
Brigada Eskwela will kick-off on May 23 with a motorcade starting from the DepED Central Office in Pasig going to Bago-Bantay Elementary School in Quezon City, where a ceremonial program will be held.
Aside from AusAid and USAID, other participating agencies include Ayala Foundation Inc., Coca-Cola Foundation Inc.,GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc., IBM Phils., Intel Technology Phils., JVR Foundation, Microsoft Phils,Nutri-Asia Inc. and SouthEast Asia Food Inc. Philippine Business For Social Progress, ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.,Smart Communication, Inc. San Miguel Corp., Philamlife and Unionbank, Rebisco Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, FFCCCII, Fit for School, Hands on Manila Foundation and Autovention Corp, Crown Worlwide Movers,Inc. Mannasoft tech Corporation, Networkers and Entrepreneurs Dev’t Cooperative and Wilkins Builder.
Brigada Eskwela won an Anvil Award in 2010, the only government line agency to receive the coveted public relations award.