Brigada Eskwela kicks off
Public school pupils used to spend their first day of classes each year cleaning up the schools, but not anymore.
Thousands trooped to public schools yesterday to start the week-long “Brigada Eskwela” wherein parents, teachers and volunteers tidy up the classrooms and surroundings in preparation for the opening of classes this June 2.
On its eleventh year, the Brigada Eskwela disaster-preparedness aside from cleanliness.
Ella Pagador, 36, of Sambag II, was one of 5,000 volunteers who brought brooms and rags to clean the chairs, floors, ceilings and corners of the Cebu City Central School North District 1.
“Para manglimpyo sa eskwelahan arun pag-abot sa klase di na sige panglimyo pa (We must clean up ahead of the opening of classes so that formal lessons can start right away),” said Ella, who has volunteered for nine years now.
Raylene S. Manawatao, principal, said that with Brigada Eskwela, teachers can immediately do their lectures instead of cleaning up on the first day.
The week-long activity is also aimed at making schools “safer” and to increase participation of stakeholders in the school activities, Manawatao added.
She expects a rise in the number of enrollees for this year because of transferees from typhoon-hit areas like Leyte and Samar.
Police stations, the military, some fraternities and nongovernment groups joined the schools’ clean up.
In Mandaue City, a caravan was held to start the Brigada Eskewela in the 3,000-pupil Subangdakue Elementary School, the two-time national awardee for the Best Brigada Eskwela Implementor.
Romeo Menchavez, 60, a consistent volunteer there, applied varnish on the desks, a task he does every year. His grandchild is an incoming grade 2 pupil.
The simultaneous cleanup took place in 27 elementary schools and 22 high schools in the city.
“Education is a legacy and fortune that we can give them, and which no one else can take from them,” said Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes.
Rosalina Gonzales, principal of Subangdaku Elementary School, said: “We are not aiming for a grand slam but what is important is that there is full cooperation of the parents and better if the private sectors continue to support us.” / with Kent Ugade, Xavier University Intern
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