Aquino leads 2012 Brigada Eskwela in Manila

May 24, 2012 9:49 pm 

MANILA, May 24 — President Benigno S. Aquino III spearheaded on Thursday the 2012 Brigada Eskwela of the Department of Education and its partners in Quiapo, Manila, highlighting the importance of volunteerism to national progress.

The President went to Apolinario Mabini Elementary School in Quiapo to meet the students, parents and teachers and visit the ongoing work at the school aimed at preparing school facilities, students and teachers for the school opening on June 4.

Filipinos always unite to achieve a common goal, the President said, citing the EDSA people power revolt in 1986 and the 2010 presidential election that catapulted him to power.

Today, a lot of people volunteer because of a brighter future that lies ahead, the President said, adding that in previous years, people left the country and stay abroad as a result of hopelessness.

The President thanked the parents, teachers and those who volunteered and contributed to the Brigada Eskwela program this year. He explained that Brigada Eskwela is significant because it encourages children to go to school and study well.

President Aquino also stressed the administration’s determination to improve the educational system in the country mainly by allocating it with more funds.

“Namumuhunan tayo sa edukasyon dahil dito nagmumula ang pangmatagalang kaunlaran ng ating bansa,” he said, emphasizing that when he noticed the lack of budget for education, he pushed for an increase of its budget.

In 2011, the government allocated P207.3 billion for education and increased it to P238.8 billion for 2012 to ensure that there is enough money for education, the President said.

The government also addressed the shortage of classrooms, he added. According to the President, when he assumed office in 2010, there was a shortage of more than 60,000 classrooms in the country.

Under his watch, the President reported that the government was able to build 10,000 classrooms and an additional 30,000 classrooms this year with the help of the different sectors.

If the tie-up with the private sector continues by 2013, each student could have high-quality education inside high-quality classrooms in the country, he said.

The Chief Executive also mentioned the adoption of K+12 this school year hoping that parents and students will support the system. This will prepare the students to the challenges of time after they graduate, he said.

“Ngayong nagkukusa ang taumbayan na kabigin ang Pilipinas sa landas na makatuwiran at makatarungan, wala tayong hindi kayang abutin. Ang pakikilahok ninyo sa brigadang ito, ang pagbuhay ninyo sa diwa ng bolunterismo ay patunay sa paglalim at pagyabong ng lakas ng ating demokrasya,” the President said.

“Huwag po sana tayong magsawang makiisa at magtiwala sa isa’t isa. Sa ating pagkakapit-bisig, hindi lang bibilis kundi aarangkada tayo tungo sa di hamak na mas maayos na buhay at mas masaganang lipunan. Ipagpatuloy natin ang bayanihan. Ipagpatuloy natin ang pagsulong sa tuwid na daan,” he said.

Brigada Eskwela is a public-private partnership that started in 2003. It is aimed at preparing the 45,000 schools nationwide ready for the school opening. Stakeholders volunteer to clean, repair or build new school buildings so that schoolchildren could go to school comfortably at the start of the school year.

The Department of Education pegged the value of last year’s Brigada Eskwela to around P2.2 billion which include donations and man-hours. The department expects even bigger contributions this year.

Joining the President during the event were Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Manila District 3 Rep. Zenaida Angping. (PNA)

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