The Department of Education annually conducts Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela, where education stakeholders give their time, effort, and resources in ensuring that school facilities are prepared for the school opening. This year’s kick-off was different under the new normal. The Schools Division Office of Lucena City conducted a virtual joint BE and OBE kick-off themed “Pagpapanatili ng Bayanihan Tungo sa Kalidad na Edukasyon para sa Kabataan” via Facebook live, June 5.

As early as May, Belen M. Andal, SEPS on Social Mobilization and Networking and Division Partnership Focal Person, together with her team, coordinated with stakeholders who would take part in the virtual kick-off. School heads, teachers, parents, school alumni, and other people from the community were encouraged to stream the virtual joint BE and OBE kick-off. Invites were disseminated through the SDO’s Facebook page and website.

The program started with video clips of division and school initiatives in mobilizing the resources and revitalizing the spirit of bayanihan. Assistant Schools Division Gerlie M. Ilagan gave her welcome remarks while SGOD Chief Epifania F. Carandang oriented the public on the rationale of the kick-off.

Schools Division Superintendent Hermogenes M. Panganiban officially announced the opening of Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela. He reiterated that the support from different stakeholders were very crucial in ensuring the learning delivery under the new normal condition. Furthermore, different learning modalities and preparations of DepEd in the opening of classes were comprehensively discussed including the preparations and distributions of materials.

“Walang imposible kung lahat ay nagkakaisa para sa batang Lucenahin,” SDS Panganiban emphasized.

DepEd CALABARZON Regional Director Wilfredo E. Cabral and Bernardo C. Pascual, PDO IV and OIC-Chief, Education Support Services delivered messages of support and reiterated the importance of this activity. While, Rolly B. Soriano, Project Development Officer IV of DepEd Central Office discussed External Partnerships Services. DepEd regional and central office expressed support with the DepEd Lucena’s efforts in delivering continuous learning opportunities in this time of pandemic. Furthermore, they plead for stakeholders and parents to help the Department of Education in promoting the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan.

The local government unit and different stakeholders had also given their message of support to DepEd Lucena City. Governor Danilo E. Su, City Mayor Roderick A. Alcala, and their team also reassured the government support in providing quality and accessible education for all.

Other stakeholders also pledge their support. These included Leo C. Malasmas, PTA Federation President; Christine M. Francisco, Kiwanis Club International and Risen Savior, USA Stakeholder Representative; Ma. Conchita D. Formaran, BPPA, DWLC Radyo Pilipinas; Irene Sisperez as represented by Dr. Amelita O. Balagtas, Rotary Club of Lucena Circle (RCLC); and Romualdo A. Porlay, Jr. Store Manager, Savemore- Agora.

With all the encouragements, support and cooperation, DepEd Lucena City is positive that Division Learning Continuity Plan will prosper. The spirit of camaraderie is evident among SDO personnel and stakeholders’ participation during the aforementioned activity. (Jennifer M. Oestar, EPS-II, SGOD, SDO Lucena City)