The Brigada Eskwela or Schools Maintenance Week is an appeal to the bayanihan spirit of every Filipino to help prepare schools for the opening of classes, according to the Department of Education. With the theme “Bayanihan Para sa Matatag na Paaralan,” this year’s BE highlighted the bayanihan spirit, cooperation, and collaboration among its stakeholders and partners. The DepEd has underscored the country’s volunteer initiatives to ensure a clean, safe, inclusive, and child-friendly learning environment for learners and teaching and non-teaching personnel, and strengthen resiliency of schools and basic education. The Department earlier issued DO No. 21, s, 2023, known as the 2023 Brigada Eskwela Implementing Guidelines, to guide schools on sustaining partnership engagement activities and ensure its alignment with the components of the MATATAG Agenda. Vice President and Secretary Sara Duterte said the BE this year has been made simpler to make schools functional, clean, and orderly, inside and outside classrooms, and within school sites. The advocacy program aims to encourage more local governments, communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other local and national partners to support the implementation of BE and contribute in adequately preparing public schools for the opening of classes. For this year’s BE, the Department no longer held contests for Best Implementing School Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and Brigada Plus at the national level to emphasize the true spirit of volunteerism. Schools, districts, and divisions may still give recognition to partners and stakeholders that participated in BE. This move is to completely prevent the schools, school heads, teachers, and other personnel from holding solicitations to raise contributions for the conduct of its BE activities.
-oOoThe author is SST III at San Simon High School