August 2, 2022—With the successful launching of Brigada Eskwela 2022 at the Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office on August 1, 2022, DepEd Region III officially kicks off the Regional Brigada Eskwela 2022 which aimed at promoting a need for a strategic and healthy partnership among education stakeholders and partners for a safe return of schoolchildren to in-person classes on August 22, 2022.

With the theme “Brigada Eskwela: Tugon sa Hamon sa Ligtas na Balik-Aral”, this annual DepEd activity which will run until August 26, highlights the country’s collective efforts from various partnership engagements, creating a safe learning environment for the learners, teaching and non-teaching personnel, and community to achieve safety while ensuring the delivery of quality education.

“Through the Brigada Eskwela, we highlight one of our outstanding traits as Filipinos – the bayanihan spirit, from the word “bayan”, from the word “bayani.” Bayanihan is a communal unity helping others without expecting anything in return. Expecting rewards, and that reward is to achieve a common goal. And in our case, our common goal is geared towards the improvement of our learners,” Regional Director May B. Eclar, PhD, CESO III said in her speech.

Moreover, as part of their proactive approach in the commencement of the Regional Brigada Eskwela 2022, the 20 Schools Division Offices (SDOs) in Central Luzon including the Regional Office, simultaneously participated in the event by showcasing their programs and activities which were aired live via DepEd Regional Office III Facebook page.

As part of the preparations for the school opening on August 22, 2022, RD Eclar assured that the department has been keen on initiating activities and programs that will ensure the safety of 2.6 million learners in Central Luzon. In her speech, she emphasized the role of bayanihan.

“In the case of the Brigada Eskwela, this bayanihan spirit opens opportunities to engage and secure investments for education as well as collaboration to ensure preparedness of our teachers, our learners, our parents, for the start of the new school year with the common goal of providing access and quality relevant education to our learners in Region III.

RD Eclar stated that while the Brigada Eskwela has been introduced several years ago, the yearly school maintenance activity has also evolved.

“From Brigada Eskwela sa paghahanda which is conducted before the school year, it has added the component Brigada Eskwela Plus wherein anytime of the year, partnerships or collaborations with our schools for its improvement is conducted. We also accept teacher development partnerships with our stakeholders, for learning resources and the like, these are conducted all throughout the year. And last year is another added component of the Brigada Eskwela the Brigada Pagbasa wherein we engage partners to improve the reading skills of our learner in the key stages, Kinder to Grade 3.”

The Schools Division Office of Tarlac Province led the regional kick-off with Schools Division Superintendent Ronaldo A. Pozon, PhD, CESO V thanking all education partners in forging efforts to sustain the gains of the department towards a resilient and strong basic education.

Brigada Eskwela is not just cleaning of schools, painting and doing necessary repairs in schools… it spells out the true love of every Filipino, as it expresses Filipino values and premium given to education and the support they shower to our schools for the sublime cause of education,” he said in his opening remarks.

RD Eclar further called on education partners and stakeholders to continue their support not just for the physical improvement of schools but also for the recovery of the learners from the effects of the pandemic.

“DepEd cannot do it alone. We need those who have stakes in education to be involved in our recovery plans. Our stakeholders play a vital role to accomplish our goals. Without their support, our effeorts in the Department of Education will be futile. Thus, this kick-off of the Brigada Eskwela for this school year is not just a call, para sa paghahanda para sa ligtas na balik eskwela. But this is also a call para sa pagtutulungan para sa pagbangon ng ating mga mag-aaral mula sa epekto ng pandemya.”