August 7, 2021 – As the Department of Education (DepEd) gears up for the upcoming school year with the kick-off of the annual Brigada Eskwela, Secretary Leonor MagtolisBriones encouraged stakeholders to innovate and act together amidst the pandemic.

“We must act together and learn from the past. We should innovate from the one year of dealing with the impact of pandemic. We cannot continue doing things the way we did. Let’s get ready and let’s do what we need to do. Do not be afraid.Secretary Briones said during the National Brigada Eskwela Kick-off hosted by the Schools Division of Tagum City.

With the slogan “Bayanihan para sa Paaralan,” this year’s National Brigada Eskwela, which will run from August 3 to September 30, 2021, focuses on the preparations and partnership activities that will support the implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) including the multiple learning delivery modalities.

The education chief then dared everyone to strive for innovation and transformation to adapt to the changing education and learning environments and needs in the 21st century.

“Let us go on with what we have, what we can do, and what we are able to achieve. Let us focus on our work in the Department of Education,” she added.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs and External Partnerships Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. emphasized that, unlike the traditional Brigada Eskwela, this year’s program will focus on partnerships to strengthen the implementation of various blended learning modalities and support initiatives for schools, teachers, and learners.

“Ito pong kasalukuyang Brigada Eskwela natin ngayon ay hindi katulad ng dati na ang ating concern po ay paglilinis, nagsosolicit lamang po tayo ng pintura…hindi na po. Ang focus po natin ngayon ay partnership activities,” Usec. Umali said.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, Brigada Eskwela will reinforce the Brigada Pagbasa initiative, which aims to strengthen learners’ reading proficiency, and the Home Learning Spaces project, which seeks to engage parents and partners to create impactful and functional learning spaces at home to foster academic ease. The Department also encourages schools to include WASH in Schools (WINS) and Disaster Preparedness in their partnerships.

Meanwhile, aside from the Brigada Eskwela Best Implementing Schools, SDOs will also award special awards such as the Best School-Community-Hope Partnerships, Best Home Learning Spaces, Best Partnership Engagement Activity, Best Brigada EskwelaCollaboration at the School District, and Most Prepared School.