Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lessons from Brigada Eskwela…

Last May 28, I was invited by my Coca Cola Live Positively family for their annual Brigada Eskwela and this time their target school was Pasig Elementary School. With Coca Cola employees and volunteers, everyone participated the “general cleaning” includes sweeping the floor, wiping the dirt and marks from the classroom wall, blackboards, windows and chairs. The activity started at 8am and ended at 11am, and everyone was happy on the results.

But beyond the classroom cleaning of Brigada Eskwela is the goal to inspire all the students who will return to public school on June 6. Inspiration in the sense, letting them to have that goal in mind to focus on their studies and become a good student in class, by having a clean and organized classroom on the first day and having sufficient supply of educational materials. After that May 28, all I can say Pasig Elementary School is still fortunate to have a local government that provided every student free education, efficient classrooms and educational facilities with 40-50 student per class population and infrastructures such as cemented road, covered court, and clinic. While in other rural areas, or even some urban areas where schools has vandalized walls, insufficient classroom facilities and uneven floors. Sometimes during rainy season, students needs to cross floods that is almost on the leg level by jumping from one chair to another, but others with no hesitation they let themselves soak on the flood waters without thinking what they might get from it.

These are the things that really happen, no sugar coating or anything. I had been in a public school once in my life. I did crossed flood water during rainy season, and even manage to have few classes under the shade of trees, but to be honest it didn’t bother me and instead it challenges me to study more and attain that education I needed to bring me where I am now. Brigada Eskwela for me, it is homecoming and passing of hat at the same time. Homecoming meaning, it give me chance to have a glimpse of those beautiful memories of what was my life during my academe years, those small laughs, jokes, fun during recess and physical education classes, those day dreaming when I am not interested on the class discussions, being “bibo” when I like the topic, and of course the friendship that blooms from simple hi, hello, what’s our assignment, do you have assignment and can I borrow your red ballpen. Pasig Elementary School was not the school I came from, but of course like what I always say, it can be a substitute.

Lastly, I call it passing of hat. Brigada Eskwela is the kick off to the beginning of the opening of the school year. With new batch of students and new challenges that they will be facing, I think letting them see a clean classroom and complete/partly complete educational materials can actually brighten up their day. It happens to me, and I hope soon aside from Brigada Eskwela the government and individuals can work a bigger plan to have a continuous project for the students especially in the public school. And I hope the budget for education should be properly distributed and used according to the needs of the students and schools.

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