School year 2011-2012 kicks off early through the spirit of camaraderie and cooperation in the community proving once more that Filipinos have unparalleled value in education. Brigada Eskwela is one successful project launched by the Department of Education and is actively supported by the local government units and citizens in the community. Brigada Eskwela is also known as the annual National Schools Maintenance Week where students, parents and community comes to school to lend a hand in repairing and cleaning the school plant making it ready for incoming students at the start of the school year.
Brigada Eskwela is a huge success year after year. Parent and Teachers Associations in each community played a significant role in making the schools more conducive to learning. This is one biggest contribution that they could lend to their school. However, they are not the only interested party who is willing to take part in their quest for learning. Various charities also donated amounts and goods to each school that could contribute to the success of learning. Ayala Foundation Inc., Coca-Cola Foundation Inc., ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc., Globe Telecommunications, Smart Communication Inc. and San Miguel Corporation have already signed up and took part in this event.
Business associations like the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce are already on board as well as IBM Philippines, Intel Technology Philippines and Microsoft Philippines. Big food manufacturing companies also stated their intent to join the Brigada. They are Rebisco Foundation, Nutri-Asia Inc. and SouthEast Asia Food Inc. They are joined with bankers such as Philamlife, Unionbank and Standard Chartered Bank. Other private foundations like the JVR Foundation, Fit for School, Hands on Manila Foundation and, of course, the Eggie Apostol Foundation are also not to be left out.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro was very much pleased with te huge turn-out of supporters and contributors. His elation rose to heights when he announced that Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have signified their participation in this year‚Äôs Brigada Eskwela by adopting public schools for repair and repainting.
‚ÄúWe expect more pledges of participation from the private sector and hopefully other international agencies,‚Äù said the education secretary.
Brigada Eskwela is an extension of Republic Act 8525, also known as the Adopt-A-School Act of 1998 which took flight when Brigada project was implemented. The Adopt-A-School Program is a bill ‚Äúwhich allows private entities to assist public schools, whether elementary, secondary, or tertiary‚Ä¶ in, but not limited to, the following areas: staff and faculty development for training and further education; construction of facilities; upgrading of existing facilities, provision of books, publications and other instructional materials; and modernization of instructional technologies.‚Äù