Over 5,000 students, parents and representatives from the government and the private sector joined the launching of the 2017 “Brigada Eskwela” at the Calinan Senior High School in Calinan District.

Led by Education Undersecretary for Finance Victoria Catibog, the six-day Brigada Eskwela kicked off in public elementary and secondary or high schools across the country in preparation for the opening of classes in June.

Jenielito Atillo, Department of Education (DepEd) XI spokesperson, said the launching of Brigada Eskwela at the Calinan Senior High School also aims to convey the message that senior high school has taken off nationwide.

This year marks the full implementation of the K-12 system because there are already entrants to Grade 12, he said.

There are 297 public schools and 189 private institutions offering senior high school curriculum in the region, with Atillo saying the number is expected to increase given the number of applications pending for DepEd’s approval.

Atillo said there are 66,986 senior high school students in the Davao Region.

With this year’s theme, “Isang DepEd, Isang Pamayanan, Isang Bayanihan Para sa Handa at Ligtas na Paaralan,” Usec. Catibog underscored the efforts and resources pooled from all sectors.

She said the cooperation of the whole community is for the sake of the children.

“This is not simply (about) attendance but the message is we are preparing the school for the future of the children. I think the private sector also touches the hearts of everyone that we are doing this for we value education,” Atillo said.

Atillo pointed out that children, parents and other stakeholders sacrificed their time, talent and skills even just for a few minutes.

Brigada Eskwela, or the national schools’ maintenance week, aims to bring together all education stakeholders to participate and contribute their time, effort and resources to prepare public school facilities in time for the opening of the new school year. (LCM/PNA)