Back to school

VERA Files

By Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files

Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan

A boy scribbled on a bench while volunteer parents clean the school surroundings.

Clad in blue and armed with hoes and broomsticks, parents together with students , teachers, school officials, parents, and other volunteers gathered at the Nicolas L. Galvez Memorial National High School in Bay, Laguna for the weeklong Brigada Eskwela or National Schools Maintenance Week, a program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The school cleanup was held third week of May to prepare public schools in time for enrollment and opening of classes. In the sweltering heat,volunteers helped in cleaning classrooms, weeding school grounds, collecting trash, and painting building facades.

A sewer repaired an old uniform in a dress shop. Aside from repairs, they also sold new uniforms.

They sold just a few new uniforms, a sign of tight financial situation.

Dory Mauricio, a dress shop owner said very few buy new uniforms nowadays and they have yet to see a pickup on sales. Most customers just come in for repairs and make do with their old uniforms.

Malls, shopping centers like Divisoria and Baclaran are crowded with parents and their children buying school supplies.

Filipinos place high regard on education. To those who have less in life it’s their hope for a brighter future for their children.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)