IF you want to feel good, visit a nearby public school this week and witness how teachers, parents and the community are chipping in labor and materials to repair and prepare the schools for the start of classes on June 6.
The weeklong Brigada Eskwela (May 16-21) was started by the Department of Education in the summer of 2003 after the new set of education officials discovered that the national government’s budget allocates a measly sum for the upkeep of the country’s more than 21,000 public elementary and high schools. It’s one of the more innovative measures the DepEd has come up with to address the lack of resources that perennially besets the sector.
In its first year, Brigada Eskwela spruced up 12,533 schools, with the community donating P392 million in materials. Last year, donors plunked down P717 million on 16,086 schools.
This year, DepEd hopes the program would draw two million man-days of volunteer time — or 350,000 volunteers per day — and time and material donations from the community would reach a whopping P1 billion in value.