A commentary on a local based newspaper says, "Education is a right, not a privilege". Every Filipinos deserves quality education. However, can this be turned into a reality realizing that year after year, we hear news about the Philippine educational system facing slew problems, including lack of classrooms, dilapidated school and shortage of teachers? At some point, schools are not ready for the upcoming school year.
Thus, in order to address these issues, in 2003, the Department of Education created a program involving the community coined as "Brigada Eskwela" or National Schools Maintenance Program. In the spirit of Bayanihan, this initiative brought teachers, parents and community members every last week of May together in repairing and preparing public schools for school opening. This year, it ran from May 28- June 2, 2018 with its theme, "Pagkakaisa Para sa Handa, Ligtas at Matatag na Paaralan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan".
The BJMP Regional Office VIII regularly joins in this weeklong event. Last May 30 & 31, 2018, its personnel participated the said activity at Baras Elementary School and Palo National High school respectively. Repainting of classrooms, repair of furniture and other physical facilities and cleaning of school grounds, were amongst the activities done in the Brigada Eskwela. Jail units regionwide also participated to schools adjacent to their facilities.
As jail officers, we are committed in supporting the program and strengthening our partnership between teachers, parents and pupils in promoting healthy and secure premises in relation to the opening of classes this school year 2018- 2019. It provided us the opportunity to be a part of the solution to the challenges of the education system in the country and allowing us to understand that we can become part of the change we want to see.