by Anna Manelle M. Rosario

 

Change can be frightening, and the temptation is often to resist it. But change almost always provides opportunities – to learn new things, to rethink tired processes, and to improve the way we work.

Klaus Schwab nailed in those vivid words how I see May 28, 2018 – specifically this Brigada Eskwela (BE) 2018 Regional Kick-off Ceremony. This is my 6th Brigada Eskwela experience and I am a neophyte in attending a regional kick-off ceremony. I was forestalling a half-hearted participation from this startled self as I thought I would just be a benchwarmer. Nonetheless, as this is the first time that SDO-SCC inaugurates our Brigada Eskwela with DepEd Region 1 personnel and delegations, such change opens new horizons for me. Let me share them in three points, coining Schwab’s quote with BE 2018 theme.

“…to learn new things…”: Pagkakaisa

Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali explicates deeper definition of Brigada Eskwela and the word “Pagkakaisa” in this year’s BE theme as he visibly exposited Section 2 of the Republic Act No. 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001. He mentioned the need to encourage local initiatives for improving the quality of basic education,  and ensure that the values, needs, and aspirations of a school community are reflected in the program of education for the children, out-of-school youth, and adult learners.

Humiliated on my seat, I reflect on how I superficially define Brigada Eskwela. Moreover, I feel I am about to be buried alive when USec Umali continues to explain the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Governance of Basic Education Act and to quote: “Encourage parents and community to be involved in the education of the child; Maximize participation and coordination between and among schools, local school board, and Parents -Teachers Associations (PTAs); and Volunteerism from among sectors shall be emphasized and encouraged to ensure sustainable growth and development in education.”

On the other hand, I am proud to witness today how SDO-SCC showcases this “pagkakaisa” as people from different sectors, of differing ages, of differing services, of differing status gathered together as united people with zealous Filipino Bayanihan spirit to ensure conducive learning community for our learners. Region 1 displays this unity also when “bosses” from the region and 14 division offices participate not just through attending this kick-off ceremony but most especially joining the teachers, parents, students and other volunteers in Central I, Central II and SEPNAS in their works and activities. Brigada Eskwela is surely one of the modern versions of our Bayanihan system.

“…to rethink tired processes…”: para sa Handa, Ligtas, at Matatag na Paaralan

As I was drafting this article, my husband and I are chitchatting how we, when we were students, spent almost the whole first week of school year cleaning our classroom and school surroundings. Our learners nowadays are so lucky to have their first week solely focused on learning and studying.

USec Umali reminds us that Article 14, Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution mandates that “the state shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” He then confers Secretary Leonor Briones’ Vision and Agenda: (1) Raise the quality of education. (2) Make education accessible. (3) Make education relevant to the urgent needs and opportunities of our nation. (4) Make education truly liberating.

In this kick-off ceremony, I am able to see glimpses of those vision and agenda as Dr. Sheila Marie Primicias presents the transformations SDO-SCC underwent in just a year under her servant leadership. One year has proven the possibility of interlacing differences by a unifying force to create one body, one heart, one powerful community – as stated in her Welcome Address. Furthermore, Honorable Mayor Joseres Resuello boosts parents’, teachers’ and other stakeholders’ morale when he said that through unity, everything is possible. Projects like constructions of new classrooms and covered courts and donations such as arm chairs made from recycled plastic wastes are few of the stepping stones the local government of San Carlos City initiated to promote access to quality education among San Carlenians. Indeed, the synergy between Dr. Primicias and Mayor Resuello assures our learners that starting from Brigada Eskwela 2018, “Handa, Ligtas, at Matatag na Paaralan” is what SDO-SCC affirms to offer to our learners.

This Regional Kick-off ceremony showcases also the best practices of the 14 Divisions in Region I. Visiting their assigned booths convicts me of Schwab’s words to rethink tired processes as each Division presents innovations on how it protects and promotes quality education. Watching the Audio-Visual presentations and glaring at their tarpaulins is very educational for an educator like me.

“…and to improve the way we work…”: Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan

Realizing that change is needed is not enough. Schwab’s challenge is that change provides opportunities to improve the way we work. Brigada Eskwela, although lasts only for 6 days, is the laying foundation of another school year tungo sa magandang kinabukasan of our learners. Thus, the DepEd mission to protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality, equitable, culture-based and complete basic education laid by USec Umali in his speech should not be observed during this Brigada Eskwela days alone but should be cherished and implemented all throughout the year. Partnership is the key word emphasized by USec Umali in order for us to ensure quality education for our learners. Such partnership is the heart of points 9 and 10 of Secretary Briones’ 10-Point Agenda: (9) Expand cooperation with private sector and communities and (10) Intensify Public and Private Partnerships in the fulfillment of DepEd’s Vision, Mission and Core Values.

“Partnership” is one of the changes that  I should be implementing to improve the way I work. The synergy of SDS Sheila Marie Primicias and Mayor Joseres Resuello has proven the power of unity. The unifying workforce of SDO-SCC led by SDS Sheila has grasped stars which was thought of as impossibly unreachable. Mayor Bogs Resuello calls for the partnership with the community. Regional Director Alma Ruby Torio accentuated the importance of unity and community involvement. They all made me realize that I cannot work alone for the benefit of my learners, to give them magandang kinabukasan.

I am so much satisfied attending this BE 2018 Regional Kick-off Ceremony. I am not a bored spectator; I am an educator educated in so many ways. New horizons were realized and new doors of opportunity were opened for me to have a significant life as an educator. Let me recapitulate this article with one of the striking quotes I acquired. This I learn from SDS Sheila quoting Kevin Hall:

“Your gifts are not about you, leadership is not about you, and your purpose is not about you. A life of significance is about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose.”

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