DepEd: Collection of fee during ‘Brigada Eskwela’ not allowed

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MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded principals of public schools across the country that any collection of fees or solicitation from volunteers or stakeholders is prohibited during the implementation of “Brigada Eskwela”.

“’Brigada Eskwela’ is anchored on the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ and has been the prime mover of volunteerism and community involvement in the Department of Education,” the agency said in a statement issued Monday, Aug. 8.

In light of this, DepEd reminded school heads (SHs) that per its order no. 062, s. 2022, “no fee shall be collected from parents/guardians or solicited from other volunteers and stakeholders” in the implementation of “Brigada Eskwela (BE)” for 2022.

DepEd issued this statement in response to a Facebook post published on August 5 claiming that during “Brigada Eskwela,” teachers become “professional beggars”.

In a statement released on August 2, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) slammed DepEd for pushing “teachers to solicit for donations,” particularly in light of the controversy surrounding the P2.4 billion laptop purchase, which was flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its 2021 report.

“While the DepEd is saying that the out-of-pocket of teachers should be reimbursed, in our experience it is like going through the eye of a needle because of numerous requirements and the insufficiency of the school maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE),” said ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua.

“At any rate even if they were reimbursed the teachers were made to shell out money in the first place,” Quetua said. “Money that is very dear considering that they have very low salaries and the Marcos administration said that they will not give a salary increase for teachers,” he added.

The “Brigada Eskwela,” also known as the National Schools Maintenance Week, is an annual program of DepEd where education stakeholders gather to help ensure that schools will be ready to accommodate learners for the incoming school year.

DepEd stated that the “Brigada Eskwela” this year will “address the challenges and learning resource gaps for teachers and learners” through strengthening partnership engagements at the local and national levels.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.