By: Sandra Laureano
TAYTAY, RIZAL– Mr. Buddy Chester M. Repia is a Senior Education Specialist for Mobilization and Networking of the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Rizal. He has been in the institution for 17 years. Prior to it, he has worked eight years as a teacher.
Having dedicated his entire career in the education sector, his enthusiasm shines when he speaks about his work and how he found CheckMySchool (CMS) as a unique means to help public schools.
“I’ve known about CMS five years ago when I attended a conference in Manila. I’ve always been interested in it. It was only two years ago when CMS area coordinators, Ms. Emily Matias and Ms. Melisa Reyes, approached the Division of Rizal for help,” he narrated.
His willingness to support CMS was automatic and, to a degree, extraordinary. According to accounts from CMS volunteers, Buddy has literally gone the extra mile to reach out to schools that needed help.
“It’s my passion to find out about the needs of schools to better understand their situation so that I can be of great help to them,” Buddy replied when asked about his motivation to support the CMS initiative.
He organized the logistics to get the CMS team into the far-flung areas, and even joined their visits for data gathering. During visits, he would listen to stakeholders’ concerns and give them professional advice on the next course of action.
Buddy’s help has paid off. Through the CMS intervention, for example, a school in an island barangay received the much needed repairs in classrooms and the construction of pathways and fences. See story: CMS Gives Hope, Brings Change to Island Barangay High School
“As we visited different schools, we saw that there were things that were lacking. Through that, we were able to validate that we needed to establish partnerships, most especially with LGUs,” he recounts.
Until now, he continues to help resolve issues raised through CheckMySchool.
PHOTO: Sir Buddy with CheckMySchool Rizal coordinators Melissa Reyes and Emily Matias
“Having third-party monitors like CMS helps because it enables us to see how we can further help provide the needs of the schools. CMS also has a different approach. They involve parents, PTA and other stakeholders, so we can discern the needs of the schools,” he added.
Inspired by the CMS experience, Buddy disclosed that he is currently working on a proposal, titled “School Data Management Portal”. It aims to address the difficulties in gathering data from schools. He will be submitting it soon to Rizal’s DepEd chief.
“I saw the importance of having available information, just like how CMS is data-driven,” he explained. But there are many important data, which the current information system of DepEd has not captured. His proposal, which involves the creation of an online portal, will capture them. He has started drafting the proposal and hopes for good results to come out of it.
By trying out new things, Buddy believes that “we can further improve public service to the schools.” He considers CMS as one of those innovative means to achieve this.
“I want all 27 districts of Rizal to be included in CMS in their monitoring so we can have a Division-wide data or information gathering regarding our needs, the issues and the problems we’re facing. It’s more effective that way,” he concluded.