Checkmyschool.org is a participatory monitoring program that combines the use of digital technology and community mobilization to provide easy access to information and a platform for sending feedback to help address school-related concerns.
Checkmyschool.org is a partnership between Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in the East Asia Pacific and the Department of Education.
Checkmyschool.org is a social accountability program that aims to help improve delivery of public education
services through constructive engagement with the government and dialogue with education stakeholders.
Checkmyschool.org has different stakeholders that can be categorized into three groups: citizen groups, private sector, and the government.
The citizen groups involve non-government organizations and the school community which includes students, teachers, and administrators. Parents-Teachers Associations and other groups based in schools also play an important role.
The private sector pertains to private companies and institutions. The government includes the Department of Education, the local school boards, and local government units.
Information intermediaries, also known as Infomediaries, provide the link between the CMS online media and the local communities. Through their established presence in both CMS online and offline platforms, they facilitate communication with different education stakeholders to help constructively address school issues.
A joint initiative of
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
1.CMS Volunteers, with supervision and guidance of the Infomediary, will ask the school for official data on school facilities and resources (e.g. books, seats, enrolment, number of teachers, to name a few)
2. CMS volunteers, through the supervision and guidance of the infomediary, will validate official data from DepEd through manual counting and inspection of school facilities and resources.
Encode information online
Communicate with relevant offices (DepEd offices, local government units or other government units, local school board, and other education stakeholders) who can help resolve the issues.
Constructive Engagement - Building trust with the community and other stakeholders is essential to ensure a harmonious working relationship.
Power of information - When the public is given access to information, they have the opportunity to know what is due of them. Through good information, the public can better tap the government and help identify strategies that can be used to constructively address issues.
Technology - It is an imperative to make sure that innnovations on how information and communication technologies are utilized must be approrpiate to the needs of the community and of its users.
Social Accountability - CMS has helped communities from its pilot areas appreciate social accountability, through constructive engagement, as one way of helping improve delivery of public education servivces.
One of the schools that Checkmyschool.org was able to reach was Sta. Fe Central School in Leyte. This school was affected by a flood last March 2011 which caused serious damages on their properties including textbooks. Mr. Paul Villanueva, infomediary, was able to mobilize volunteers from the school community to conduct the validation in the school. The help and cooperation of the Leyte Division Office and the Department of Education also made the validation exercise a success.
One of the identified problems was the deficiencies and damages on their textbooks. There were a lot of missing pages and some were damaged by termites and rats. It was then reported to the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat or IMCS of DepEd and they responded immediately.
Textbooks were delivered soon to the school.
Mrs. Vivian Seco , principal of the school, and other staff and parents were thankful for the opportunity to learn that they can do something for their school through dialogue and constructive engagement with concerned authorities.
"Checkmyschool is a great help especially to public schools not only in Manila but all over the country."
-Elena Batusan, Principal
Another school that was reached by Checkmyschool.org was the Araullo High School, a school in the heart of Manila that has a population of the 5000 students. Through the leadership of Ms. Emma De Mesa, Manila Infomediary, data on school services, resources and facilities were checked and validated by her pool of volunteers.
The volunteers found that the comfort rooms in the second floor of the school were not functional. Karl Gumangan, a student volunteer of CMS, reported that the two comfort rooms of the school weren't enough. After a week, a request for repair of faulty comfort rooms was sent to the Department of Education's Division of Manila office. An immediate response from the Division office, asking for the construction of the comfort rooms, was given.