Story contributor: Jonathan Mongcal
CAGAYAN DE ORO— “CMS will visit your school anytime. Let’s support CMS because it’s a third-party monitor,” Dr. Elena M. Borcillo would often say in her Management Committee meetings.
Dr. Borcillo is Cagayan de Oro’s Schools Division Superintendent. Her support was instrumental in the active implementation of CheckMySchool as citizen monitor of public schools in CDO.
The principals and teachers did not instantly like citizen monitoring of their schools. They were, at first, either reluctant or indifferent in supporting CheckMySchool activities.
This was despite the endorsement letter signed by the chair of the Local School Board and Schools Division Superintendent.
“They (principals) were surprised that such monitoring will be taking place in their respective schools,” said Jonathan Mongcal, CheckMySchool coordinator.
But Dr. Borcillo did not waver in her support for the citizen initiative. In her meetings with the principals, she would repeatedly remind them to prepare for CheckMySchool visits and to acknowledge the volunteers’ efforts.
To illustrate a point and stress the need for follow through, she would even show photos of the school condition submitted by the volunteers. She uses these as leverage to be able to facilitate improvements in schools.
In the process, the vocal support of CDO’s top educator encouraged the principals and teachers to cooperate and engage in CMS activities.
Such engagement has already resulted in positive changes. Jonathan noted, “I am very happy to see principals now applying CMS principles of social accountability in their respective schools.” Principal Dullente’s story is one example.
In a recent photo exhibit and fund raising campaign event of CheckMySchool last April 21, Dr. Borcillo made her support felt once more.
“I was surprised to see DepEd representatives there. I was told that Dr. Borcillo instructed them to attend and take note of the issues and concerns that would be raised by CMS. Indeed, she was a key that opened up opportunities for us to engage more people.” said Jonathan.
Edited by: Eric Michael Santos