AUSTRALIA PARTICIPATES IN BRIGADA ESKWELA 2011
The Australian Embassy today continued to show its strong support for education in the Philippines by participating in Brigada Eskwela activities at the Tondo High School in Manila.
“This is an opportunity for Australian Embassy staff to work side-by-side with teachers and parents to get schools ready for the new school year,” Australian Ambassador Rod Smith said. “Our participation in Brigada Eskwela is part of Australia’s significant commitment to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in the Philippines.”
Brigada Eskwela, spearheaded by the Philippine Department of Education, is a nationwide activity that brings together parents, teachers and pupils to clean-up and prepare schools across the country for the start of classes in June.
Some 80 Australian Embassy representatives will participate in Brigada Eskwela activities this week in eight schools in the cities of Las Piñas, Manila, Mandaluyong, and Parañaque.
Australia has provided approximately Php2.5 million to support Brigada Eskwela activities in 50 public schools – 20 in Metro Manila and 30 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Each school received up to Php70,000 to purchase supplies such as paints and cleaning materials, and equipment such as electric fans.
Thirteen of the Metro Manila schools are recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Conditional Cash Transfer Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Since 2008, Australia has provided approximately Php120 million (A$3 million) to the DSWD to strengthen the roll-out of the Pantawid Pamilya Program.
In 2011-12, the Australian Government Aid Program will provide up to Php 2 billion (A$50 million) to help the Philippines reach its Education for All goals – to get children into school and keep them there – and improve basic education outcomes in the Philippines. Australian support helps increase access to quality education for Filipino girls and boys, including those with disabilities, Muslim and indigenous children and children in disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas.
“Australia is working with the Philippine Government, civil society and the private sector to train teachers, provide educational facilities including classrooms and day care centres, strengthen school-based management practice, improve education planning and management systems, and provide teaching and learning materials,” Ambassador Smith said.