THE ANNUAL National Schools Maintenance Week, popularly known as Brigada Eskwela, is commencing Monday, May 20.
A permanent part of the Department of Education (DepEd) school calendar which mandates public schools to implement the program every second week of May, this activity aims to bring together all education stakeholders to participate and contribute their time, effort, and resources to prepare public school facilities for the opening of the school year in June. The Brigada Eskwela Program helps ensure that the schools are ecologically conscious, resilient, clean, safe and conducive to learning.
This year's theme "Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan" highlights the significant role of the strong partnership of the entire community in providing the needed support for the schools and its learners.
This collaboration among the various stakeholders marks the true essence of bayanihan, or the spirit of working together towards a common goal.
Brigada, aptly is a term which symbolizes the unity of people who share the same aspirations and mind-set, and thus strongly achieve the outcome that each and every one desire for. Moreover, this annual undertaking also unveils volunteerism, as different stakeholders from the community have gathered to lend their hand in making our schools prepared for our young learners in the opening of the school year.
The Brigada Eskwela Plus Program, an added component of this yearly activity, shall also be conducted in public schools nationwide, in phases, consistent with the regular Brigada Eskwela Program. This program aims to achieve higher and significant goals geared towards increasing learners' participation rate, reducing dropouts and helping improve learning for both learners and community, and to create a network of community-based organizations to get total community commitment to attain a higher learning, through collaborative programs and projects.
The implementation of Brigada Eskwela Plus Program shall focus on school maintenance activities throughout the school year; school and community effort to improve participation and reduce dropout rate, or to enroll in the alternative delivery mode; and school community effort to improve student and community learning.
Brigada Eskwela espouses the spirit of volunteerism. Taking part in the school repair and other maintenance work is not mandatory nor requisite for parents to enable their children to be accommodated in the school.
DepEd also reiterates that no Brigada Eskwela fee shall be solicited from volunteers.
As all Uniformed Personnel are welcome to participate in Brigada Eskwela, however, carrying guns and firearms is prohibited inside the school premises. At the same time, pursuant to DepEd Order No. 6, series of 2012 entitled "Guidelines on the Adoption and Implementation of Public Health Policies on Tobacco Control and Protection against Tobacco Industry Interference," receiving assistance or support from companies and other players in the tobacco industry for Brigada Eskwela is not allowed.