MANILA, May 16 — The city government of Taguig is all set for the annual National Schools Maintenance or more popularly known as “Brigada Eskwela” on May 21-26 this year.
Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano said that many of the city’s residents were volunteering to help city government and education officials in ensuring the classrooms ready for students at the opening of classes on June 4.
During the “Brigada Eskwela,” stakeholders in the education sector — parents, students, education officials and teachers, and the local government — join hands to clean, repair, redecorate or repair classrooms and school buildings.
“We are participating in Brigada Eskwela every year and I want to thank all those who volunteered their help. But I enjoin everyone to lend a hand so our students would have classrooms that would encourage learning. The more help we get, the better,” said Cayetano.
She said that the “Brigada Eskwela” program was a modern version of the “Bayanihan”, a Filipino tradition in rural areas where members of a community volunteer to help each other for the common good.
Cayetano said she wanted to keep this tradition alive in the city, which traces its roots from a rural farming community that developed into what is now a modern, world-class city.
The local chief executive said that for its part in the “Brigada Eskwela” the city government would shoulder all expenses for cleaning materials–like rugs, dust pan, floor wax, waste bins, detergents, and brooms.
The city government will provide as well as painting materials for school buildings or classrooms that need a fresh coat of paint.
This year, the “Brigada Eskwela” in Taguig will formally kick off at the Signal Village National High School on May 21 but all public elementary schools in the city will participate in the week-long program.
“Brigada Eskwela” is an annual program of the Department of Education (DepEd), mandated under DepEd Order No. 24 issued in 2008.
Meanwhile, the city government will distribute again the complete sets of ready-to-wear uniforms, bags and a new pairs of shoes to public school students from pre-school to high school starting June 11.
The students would also get free school supplies like pens, notebooks for all subjects, bags, pencil cases, and pad papers.
Cayetano has given top priority to the local education sector. Among others, she increased the budget for Scholarship program from P100 million in 2011 to P200 million this year.
In contrast, the previous administration allocated only P5 million for scholarship.
This year, Cayetano pioneered the e-Graduation program, where live video of all the graduation rites in the city’s public schools were streamed in the Internet to allow relatives of the graduates —even those abroad — to witness the ceremonies.
Likewise, graduation in the city’s public schools remained free as the city government shouldered graduation expenses and enforced a strict, no-collection policy. All graduates received free togas, photos, yearbooks, and diplomas with jacket too. (PNA) RMA/LOR/CLTC