2019 Bicol Brigada Eskwela records P1.6B worth of resources, 13 national awards

DepEd Camarines Norte Schools Division Superintendent Nympha D. Guermo (center) clarifies about no collection policy for Brigada Eskwela during 2019 Brigada Eskwela Stakeholders’ Appreciation and Awarding Ceremonies press conference at Tulay na Lupa Elementary School in Labo, Camarines Norte. on October 28. (RBManlangit-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

DAET, Camarines Norte --- The Department of Education (DepEd) yearly conducts recognition to give gratitude to those who exerted efforts to the Brigada Eskwela program.

DepEd Bicol recorded a total of P1.6 billion worth of resources for the Brigada Eskwela this year which is higher compared to last year’s P1.2 billion.

With these resources, accomplishments include: 7,077 classrooms repaired; 1,204 and 2,246 comfort rooms constructed and repaired respectively; 2,225 and 56,424 hand washing facilities erected and renovated; 196 stage along with 22,685 spans of perimeter fence and 763 learning kiosks built.

On Oct. 28 this year, DepEd conducted its 2019 Regional Brigada Eskwela Stakeholders’ Appreciation and Awarding Ceremonies press conference at Tulay na Lupa Elementary School in Labo, Camarines Norte.

Tulay na Lupa Elementary School is one of the 5 hall of famers of the 13 national awardees in Bicol for the 2019 Brigada Eskwela along with Mamlad Elementary School, Albay; Barcelona Central School, Sorsogon Province; Mary Perpetua Brioso National High School, Masbate Province; and Aroroy National High School, Masbate Province.

The other national awardees include: Balatas Elementary School, Naga City; Pioduran West Central School, Albay; Vinzons Pilot Elementary School, Camarines Norte; Revil Bajar National High School, Masbate Province; Bantayan National High School, Tabaco City; and Goa National High School, Camarines Sur.

Also included are the two most sustained school national awardees, the Basud National High School of Camarines Norte and San Antonio National High School, Iriga City.

Winners were categorized under small, medium, large and mega in elementary and secondary level.

Stakeholders from the winning schools were given recognition like the school head, 1 school Brigada Eskwela (BE) coordinator, 1 General Parent Teachers President, barangay captain, municipal mayor and a private stakeholder.

Aside from the 13 national awardees, a total of 31 schools as national finalist or regional winners were also awarded during the awarding ceremony held at Labo, Convention Center on Oct. 29 following a Regional LGU Forum which was held at New Bel-Air Resort in Daet on the same day.

During the press conference the panelists who clarified issues regarding Brigada Eskwela were Engr. Ronald Asis, Chief Education Support Service Division (ESSD), DepEd, Region 5; Maria Cristina Bareso, Project Development Officer, ESSD, DepEd RO5; Nympha D. Guemo, Schools Division Superintendent, SDO Camarines Norte; and Norma B. Samantlea, SDS, DepEd SDO, Albay.

Labo Mayor Joseph Ascutia on the other hand lauded Tulay na Lupa Elementary School and other hall of famers along with national and regional awardees.

School principals who were national awardees also shared their experiences about good practices on the implementation of Brigada Eskwela program in their respective school.

Brigada Eskwela ensures accessible, quality, relevant and liberating education as its cardinal goal.

DepEd has to continually pursue cooperation and partnership with the private sector and communities towards the fulfillment of the vision and agenda.

In 2003, DepEd launched Brigada Eskwela or the National Schools’ Maintenance Week that aims to bring together all education stakeholders to participate and contribute their time, effort and resources to prepare public school facilities ready for the opening of the school year in June.

DepEd’s budget is not sufficient to cater to all the needs of the schools including infrastructure repair, refurbishment and in ensuring the safety and security of learners and teachers in the schools.

DepEd said that two major agencies were at the forefront of supporting Brigada Eskwela were the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which mobilized all 4Ps beneficiaries and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for encouraging all LGUs to support the program.

Also DepEd Bicol forged stronger partnerships with the LGUs with the institutionalization of Brigada Eskwela as part of the yearly program of the locale like Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Masbate that enacted an ordinance or resolutions allocating funds for the program, distributing construction materials and deploying manpower.

This year, DepEd saw the rise of volunteers in schools at 2.2 million from last year’s 1.9 million. However, the need for clean, safe and available drinking water for many public schools especially those in the remote areas is apparently high and need to be considered a top priority along with additional reference materials for elementary pupils.