DepEd emphasizes bayanihan spirit in simpler Brigada Eskwela 2023 launch

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.



LearnCon participants spearhead National Action Plan for Learner Participation crafting

MARIKINA CITY, August 4, 2023 – Selected learners from 17 regions of the country convened to contribute in the crafting of the National Action Plan for Learner Participation during the recently concluded Learners’ Convergence (LearnCon) PH 2023.

As active and responsible contributors to nation-building, around 1,890 youth leaders in attendance committed to mobilize learner-centered campaigns and initiatives on health, sports, learner formation, disaster risk reduction and management, and learners’ rights and protection to make a huge impact in the country’s basic education.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte commended the delegates for using their voice to advocate for policies supporting quality and inclusive education through their involvement in school’s student government or other student organizations.

“As youth leaders, I encourage you to collaborate and build a strong network across regions and organize awareness campaigns about issues affecting Filipino youth,” VP-Sec. Duterte said in a written speech. 

Another highlight of LearnCon is the election and oathtaking of the new set of National Federation of Supreme Secondary Learner Government (NFSSLG) officers for School Year 2023-2024.

Ma. Cassandra Austria from Quezon City, NCR was elected President among 17 regional SSG presidents. The other elected officers are Gian Franscine Lampaz of CAR-Baguio City as Vice President; Alexa Delle Aranda of Region I – Pangasinan as Secretary; and Nina Keira Noelle Lezada of Region X – Cagayan de Oro City as Treasurer.

In addition, John Carl Hermocilla of Region IX – Zamboanga Sibugay will serve as Auditor; Mark Kristoff Javate of Region VIII – Calbayog City as Public Information Officer; and Jan Xerohj Olivo of Region IV-A – Antipolo City as Protocol Officer.

“It is essential for us to recognize that we are not mere recipients of change but active agents in shaping the future we envision for our education system,” Austria said, noting that the NFSSLG, under her leadership, will seek to strengthen student representation at all levels of decision-making.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary for Operations Dexter Galban encouraged learners to work with the newly elected officers and board members to champion causes dear to their heart.

Anchored on the theme “SaMakabata: Sentro ng Karunungan, Huwaran ng Kagalingan,” the recently concluded learner engagement emphasized the importance of recognizing learners as the center of educational processes. It also provided them the opportunities to acquire new knowledge which can enrich their lives and aid them in addressing challenges in their respective schools and communities.



DepEd collaborates with DSWD for ‘Tara, Basa!’ Tutoring Program

PASIG CITY, August 4, 2023 – Promoting reading to recover learning losses, the Department of Education (DepEd) forged their partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to launch ‘Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program on Wednesday in Rizal High School.

‘Tara, Basa!’ Tutoring Program is a holistic social welfare and development program that aims to help elementary learners who have difficulties learning to read or cannot read yet to improve their foundational reading skills while offering short-term work and learning opportunities for financially challenged college students.

“Our grade learners will experience, embrace and love reading and the magical world of written and spoken words. The amount of knowledge and wisdom that they will be able to collect from reading is beyond imagination,” Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte said.

“Ang programang ito ay nagpapakita na kapag ang ating gobyerno ay agresibo, determinado, at mahusay na pinamumunuan marami tayong magagawa, malayo ang ating mararating, at sasalubungin natin ang ating kinabukasan na puno ng inspirasyon, pag-asa at posibilidad,” she added.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the reformatted educational assistance program will give college students P500 a day for 20 days in exchange of being tutors or youth development workers and will provide P235 per day for parents who will attend the teaching sessions.

In the cash for work program, university or college students may serve as a tutor to struggling readers or youth development workers who will train the parents to become Nanay-Tatay Tutors to their children at home.

VP-Sec. Duterte expressed her gratitude to the young volunteer tutors for sharing their time and knowledge to the learners, for being selfless, and for loving their fellow Filipinos and their country.

“We hope to see more and more Filipinos like you. Filipinos who also see that investing in our children is investing in the future,” she noted.

In addition, hearing and vision screening will also be conducted to participating learners through the assistance of the private partners to ensure that their eyes and ears are healthy and will not hinder their learning and reading skills.

During the launch, DepEd and DSWD also sealed their partnership through signing a Memorandum of Agreement as witnessed by DepEd NCR Regional Director Wilfredo Cabral, DSWD Usec. For Innovations Eduardo Punay, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, and Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.