Two weeks before classes start, volunteer students, teachers, parents and private individuals get their hands dirty cleaning public schools in Valenzuela City on the first day of the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela 2013.
The program, also known as National School Maintenance Week, will run from May 20 to May 25.
At the Valenzuela National High School (VNHS) in Barangay Marulas, the almost 200 volunteers who have participated in freshening up the 32 classrooms in the 4 school buildings also included VNHS alumni, members of civic and religious organizations, employees of private organizations and students from a local private university.
Aside from lending their hands, the volunteers has also donated cleaning and carpentry materials, as well as floor tiles, wall fans, and an LCD projector, according to Florence Daco, the VNHS coordinator for Brigada Eskwela.
Luisa Nuñez, president of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) at VNHS, has been joining Brigada for three years now.
“Hindi lang teachers ang dapat naglilinis (ng mga paaralan),” (Cleaning up the school is not only the teachers’ work) said Nuñez, whose son is an incoming high school senior. “Obligasyon din ng mga magulang na maglinis. (Parents, too, have to do their part.)”
The support from stakeholders has helped earn VNHS the award Best School Implementor of Brigada Eskwela in Valenzuela City for three years in a row: in 2010, in 2011, and in 2012.
VNHS Principal, Margarito Materum credits this achievement to his administration’s proactive approach. “We would contact everyone, write them letters,” he said, referring to stakeholders from various groups whom he tapped to help out.
Brigada Eskwela is a yearly program that started in 2003. In 2012, about 6 million volunteers participated in the program, while the DepEd collected P1.5 million worth of resources from donors.