THE Brigada Eskwela school cleanup program continues to draw bigger support from various education stakeholders 14 years after it was launched, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
“In 2003, it was not mandatory for schools to join Brigada. Only around 30 percent of our schools participated at the time. But in 2007, it increased to 100 percent school voluntary participation,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said.
In 2008, the department issued an order mandating all schools to participate in Brigada Eskwela activities.
As the number of participants grew, so did the resources raised from education stakeholders. The P1,519,575,657.13 generated in 2012 ballooned to P7,263,949,535.83 in 2016.
“With these figures, we can see how successful Brigada Eskwela has become,” Umali said.
“For this year, if we equal what we have done last year, that by itself is already an achievement. But I’m sure that we will surpass it,” he added.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones urged the public to participate in this year’s Brigada Eskwela from May 15 to 20.
For this year, Briones said that in addition to school maintenance activities, lectures on anti-illegal drug use will be held, as well as the distribution of the pencils gathered under the One Million Lapis Campaign and the opening of the Alternative Learning System registration desk in Cebu City.
The DepEd chief said her department expects around 500 to 1,000 Brigada volunteers and people from the community in Cebu City to register in the Alternative Learning System registration desk.
Other activities such as earthquake and fire drills, rabies awareness campaign and tree/vegetable planting will also be conducted in select schools nationwide.
“Many of our children are still unable to join the formal learning system. With all its improvements and opportunities, there are those who can’t go to school because of poverty, school’s distance, early marriages,” Briones said.