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PIA Press Release

"Brigada Eskwela" program extended in Vigan school

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Vigan City (June 2) -- The "Brigada Eskwela" set on May 18-22 was extended at Burgos Memorial School West at Brgy. 4, this city, due to vital repairs of classrooms and school ground that were unfinished.

Maria Barcellano, principal of the said school said that these repairs include the replacement of ceilings in the classrooms, repair of teacher's table, repainting of classrooms and desks and rehabilitation of the school's concrete ground by filling up with mixed cement solution.

"We extend the program to prepare our school to be conducive for teaching and learning process for our school children," she added.

The principal is expecting more than 800 pupils-enrollees in the opening of classes calendar year 2009-2010 as against the 747 recorded pupils last school year.

So far, the school ranks the second biggest enrollees out of the 18 public elementary school in the city.

She thanked Barangay Captains Desiderio Pascua of Barangay 4 and Felicisimo Artajos of Barangay 7; and the officers and members of the Parent's, Teacher's and Community Association (PTCA) for the materials and voluntary service extended during the implementation of our Brigada Eskwela this summer.

It was recalled that the Brigada Eskwela is the current day version of the Filipinos' Bayanihan spirit, or volunteerism in the repair and maintenance of the public elementary schools nationwide.

Launched in 2003, the activity encourages volunteers to provide a little bit of materials such as paint, cement, lumber and other materials necessary for building construction. Time, community spirit and donations from local businesses and other corporations are given in kind. Hence, there is no cash involved.

This year, the education department expects to generate P1.5-billion to P2-billion worth of donation with 90-95 percent participation from all schools nationwide.

During the Brigada Eskwela week, volunteers undertake the task of preparing the school in time for the start of classes in June. Maintenance work such as the repainting of the roof and exterior walls, repair of leaking water pipes, ceiling boards, broken furniture and windows, among others are done by volunteers with the help of donations in kind from non-government organizations and corporations.

The principals and school heads are the keys actors of this yearly effort. They are encouraged, but not required to organize such an activity in their respective schools. School heads who choose to participate in Brigada Eskwela, however, organize their efforts through their PTCAs as early as February, recruit parent volunteers and approach local businesses for donations by March, and organize work groups by April.

According to Barcellano, "the true value of Brigada Eskwela is on how well we can teach our children the essence of community and of humanity. The lesson of Brigada Eskwela is the lesson of the Filipino spirit." (PIA - Ilocos Sur) [top]

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