By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
As this year’s conduct of “Brigada Eskwela” officially ends tomorrow, the Department of Education (DepEd) expressed gratitude to all stakeholders who volunteered their time, effort and resources to help ensure that the smooth opening of classes in public schools next week.
For 2018, DepEd has set the “Brigada” from May 28 to June 2 with the theme, “Pagkakaisa Para sa Handa, Ligtas at Matatag na Paaralan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan.” Also known as the “National Schools Maintenance Week,” the ‘Brigada’ that 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.”
Education Secretary Leonor Briones highlighted the key role of the community and all education stakeholders in ensuring a smooth opening of classes during the Brigada Eskwela 2018 National Kickoff on May 29 held at the New Society National High School in General Santos City.
“The sight of you all supporting education gives us, DepEd officials and personnel, so much joy and inspiration,” Briones said. “Through your active involvement in the National Schools Maintenance Week, we can ensure that learners will have a school environment conducive to learning come the opening of classes in June,” she told the volunteers.
Briones also expressed that all DepEd officials and personnel are united to continue and further improve the Brigada Eskwela, and advance the quality of basic education in the country. “DepEd is united as an organization…we are united with the parents and communities, and most of all, with the president,’” she said. “We, in DepEd, have to continue doing everything to strengthen and to further improve our Brigada Eskwela and the quality of education here in our country,” she added.
This year’s Brigada, Briones said, campaigns for the various efforts of the department toward a quality, accessible, relevant and liberating basic education. These include campaigns and projects on anti-illegal drug, wash-in-schools, disaster resiliency, and EskweLA BAN sa Sigarilyo.
Aside from this, Briones noted the integration of Alternative Learning System (ALS) special registration booths for volunteers. She said DepEd already has around 89,000 ALS enrollees nationwide. “I’m very happy that we have an additional activity which is the acceptance of enrollees in our ALS, we thank everyone for campaigning for this very special program which is also close to the heart of our president,” she added.
As part of its effort to encourage more Filipinos to take on volunteer initiatives, more and more companies roll out their respective nationwide volunteerism programs in line with its participation in the DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela.
Globe Telecom, for instance, also rolled out its volunteer program which encourages various sectors, such as nongovernment organizations (NGOs), government agencies, private sectors – through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) – and the academe “to connect with communities and continue spreading acts of kindness to those who are in need.”
For Globe senior vice president for corporate communications Yoly Crisanto, the “impressive rate of volunteerism in the Philippines proves the innate kindness of Filipinos.” She added that “with a nationwide initiative like this, we are able to reach out to more individuals, communities and companies to help create a ‘Globe of Good.”’
The Globe Volunteer Program campaigns for collaborative movement toward the formation of a unique culture of kindness in line with its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Globe has always supported education-related activities that include the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) which promotes responsible digital citizenship; PRISM, which is aimed at advancing digital literacy of teachers; and Strategy Innovation, and Transformation (ShiftED), which assists the government and schools in developing globally-competitive students and teachers.
Globe has had previous involvement in Brigada Eskwela – prioritizing employee volunteerism through their iGive pillar under the Globe CSR. With the assistance of Future Maker iVolunteer Philippines, Globe has made it easier for everyone to create or look for volunteer opportunities by signing up at www.bridgecom.com through any device with internet access. Groups comprised of two to four volunteers must be formed to join the activities. Additionally, companies without existing volunteer programs would be able to match their employees to various volunteering opportunities that suit them, while companies with existing volunteer programs may also register.
Through partnership initiatives such as this, DepEd noted that number of volunteers for its flagship program in social mobilization is “expected to continue rising.”