Collection of fee, solicitation during ‘Brigada Eskwela’ not allowed — DepEd 

Published August 8, 2022, 7:33 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded heads of schools in public schools nationwide that any collection of fees or solicitation from volunteers or stakeholders is not allowed during the implementation of “Brigada Eskwela.”

DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela in 2019 (Photo courtesy of DepEd)

“’Brigada Eskwela’ is anchored on the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ and has been the prime mover of volunteerism and community involvement in the Department of Education,” the agency said in a statement issued Monday, Aug. 8.

Given this, DepEd reminded school heads (SHs) that in the implementation of “Brigada Eskwela (BE)” for 2022, “no fee shall be collected from parents/guardians or solicited from other volunteers and stakeholders” based on its order no. 062, s. 2022.

DepEd issued this statement in response to a Facebook post on Aug. 5 saying that the “Brigada Eskwela” becomes a season when teachers transform into “professional beggars.”

In a statement issued on Aug. 2, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) also criticized DepEd for pushing “teachers to ask for donations” especially amid the controversy of the P2.4 billion laptop purchase as flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its 2021 report.

“While the DepEd is saying that the out-of-pocket of teachers should be reimbursed, in our experience it is like going through the eye of a needle because of numerous requirements and the insufficiency of the school maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE),” said ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua.

“At any rate even if they were reimbursed the teachers were made to shell out money in the first place,” Quetua said. “Money that is very dear considering that they have very low salaries and the Marcos administration said that they will not give a salary increase for teachers,” he added.

Also known as the National Schools Maintenance Week, the “Brigada Eskwela” is an annual initiative of DepEd where education stakeholders gather to help ensure that schools will be ready to accommodate learners for the incoming school year.

This year’s “Brigada Eskwela,” DepEd said, will “address the challenges and learning resource gaps for teachers and learners” through strengthening partnership engagements at the local and national levels.

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