To prepare for the coming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducts an annual Brigada Eskwela campaign for at least two weeks.
During the Brigada Eskwela campaign period, volunteers prepare the school for the start of classes in June. Minor maintenance work such as the repainting of the roof and exterior walls, repairing of leaking water pipes, ceiling boards, broken furniture and windows is done by volunteers with the help of donations in kind from corporations and non-government organizations.
Principals and school heads are encouraged to organize the activity in their respective schools. Working with their Parent-Teacher Community Associations (PTCAs) as early as February, they recruit parent volunteers and approach local businesses for donations by March, and organize work groups by April.
Through the years, our public schools have benefited from Brigada Eskwela in terms of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) amounting to billions of pesos. This year, the DepEd expects more schools to participate and generate more community MOOE.
This year, the DepEd will launch Monday the Brigada Eskwela Plus all over the country. Beyond the material and financial benefits generated from this worthwhile endeavor in the form of better classrooms and campuses, the schools also benefit from the goodwill generated when people exert efforts for the common good – hand in hand with other like-minded members of the community.
Brigada Eskwela has become the current-day version of our proverbial Bayanihan spirit – that tradition of volunteerism we Filipinos value. Brigada Eskwela conveys to the students the essence of community and of humanity, which forms the core of the Filipino spirit.