Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR140521: Australia joins Brigada Eskwela 2014, reiterates support to basic education


Australian Embassy volunteers, led by Minister-Counsellor for Development Cooperation Mr Layton Pike, participated in the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela activities on Wednesday at the Andres Bonifacio Integrated School in Mandaluyong City.

During the week, over 150 Embassy volunteers, their families and Australian Government implementing partners took part in Brigada Eskwela 2014 repainting and clean-up activities in five schools in Mandaluyong, Manila and Parañaque.

This is the fifth year the Australian Embassy has participated in DepEd’s annual community activity to clean and prepare schools nationwide for the start of classes in June. Since 2010, the Embassy has provided 170 schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with materials and supplies for cleaning and minor repairs under Brigada Eskwela.

“We are pleased to once again join DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela. Australia’s participation is part of our broader and long-standing partnership in education,” Pike said. “Australia is a committed partner of the Philippines in improving access and learning opportunities for Filipino children, particularly in Muslim Mindanao, and in indigenous and disadvantaged communities.”

Australia is the largest provider of grant funding to education in the Philippines, with an annual budget of over A$50 million. Pike explains, “Education is the flagship focus of our development program in the Philippines. We fully support the major reforms in education that the Philippine Government has made in recent years to promote inclusive social and economic development in the country.”

One of the quality and inclusive DepEd program supported by the Australian Government is BEST (Basic Education Sector Transformation), a six-year, A$150 million program that directly responds to the Philippine Government’s ‘K to 12’ reform agenda and aims to benefit more than 8 million students across 19,000 schools.

The Andres Bonifacio Integrated School is part of the initial implementation of the Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) of DepEd supported by the Australian Government. END

(Photos with captions to be uploaded on 22 May)