TARLAC CITY, August 7, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd) highlighted the bayanihan spirit, cooperation, and collaboration among its stakeholders and partners in the national kick-off of the 2023 Brigada Eskwela (BE) on Monday at Tarlac National High School.

“Brigada Eskwela [or] Schools Maintenance Week is an appeal to the bayanihan spirit of every Filipino to help prepare our schools for the opening of classes,” Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte noted.

With the theme “Bayanihan Para sa Matatag na Paaralan,” this year’s BE underscored the country’s volunteer initiatives to ensure a clean, safe, inclusive, and child-friendly learning environment for learners and teaching and non-teaching personnel, and strengthen resiliency of schools and basic education.

The Department has issued DO No. 21, s, 2023, or known as the 2023 Brigada Eskwela Implementing Guidelines, to guide schools on sustaining partnership engagement activities and ensure its alignment with the components of the MATATAG Agenda.

“Ang Brigada Eskwela is pina-simple po namin, kung nakita ninyo sa Department Order na ilinabas namin. Pina-simple namin para maintindihan ng lahat. It is just making our schools functional, clean, and orderly, inside and outside classrooms, and within school sites,” VP-Sec. Duterte explained.

Running from August 14 to 19, the advocacy program aims to encourage more local governments, communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other local and national partners to support the implementation of BE and contribute in adequately preparing public schools for the opening of classes on August 29.

To date, DepEd has received about 44 million donations from partners for public schools nationwide and about 1.6 million donations for Tarlac National High School.

For this year’s BE, the Department will no longer hold contests for Best Implementing School Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and Brigada Plus at the national level to emphasize the true spirit of volunteerism. Schools, districts, and divisions may still give recognition to partners and stakeholders that participated in BE.

This move is to completely prevent the schools, school heads, teachers, and other personnel from holding solicitations to raise contributions for the conduct of its BE activities.

During the kick-off event, VP-Sec. Duterte visited the booths of DepEd’s 31 partner organizations who participated in the exhibit that showcases their support, contributions, and initiatives to public schools nationwide.