CheckMySchool is a participatory monitoring initiative for the education sector in the Philippines. It aims to continuously improve the quality of education services by bringing the participation of citizens and communities into the governance of public schools in the country. It started in 2011 as an experimental partnership project with the Department of Education along the advocacy for access to information and social accountability.
CheckMySchool operates in three stages namely (a) data access, (b) feedback, (c) issue resolution. All these stages require training for volunteers and linkaging with various stakeholders. The complete cycle normally takes three to six months to finish.
This stage of the process is done through data updating, which involves visit to schools to access records on enrolment, classrooms, seats, textbooks, budget, achievement test results, and other data relevant to the community. The updated data are used for diagnosing the condition of services in the school.
This stage of the process consists in interface meetings with key stakeholders. The updated school data are used as bases for raising issues to education department and local government officials as well as other key stakeholders. By facilitating the interface, CMS bridges various stakeholders and provides venues to discuss and analyze problems.
This stage of the process involves efforts to facilitate resolution of an identified issue or problem. Based on an action plan formulated through the interface meeting, responsible stakeholders are mapped and approached to address the issue or problem.
The resolution of the issue consists of verifiable actions ranging from Response (acknowledgment of issue), Commitment (being bound by implementable steps to address issue), and Result (implementation of desired improvement).
This School Hardship Index Map identifies which among the 47,659 public elementary and secondary schools in the country are in need of resources. The index consists of seven variables: remoteness, percentage of students receiving conditional cash transfers, water access, internet access, electricity access, student-teacher ratio, and student-classroom ratio. Source: DepEd’s E-BEIS, SY 2016-2017.
Heather Baier and Angela Yost worked on this map and the study on School Hardship Index. They came to the Philippines last May to July 2018 as Summer Fellows of William & Mary’s Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations.
CMS provides third party monitoring of specific government programs on education delivered directly to the schools. It partners with various network organizations for the mobilization, training and deployment of citizen monitors in different parts of the country.
To guide the volunteers in implementing the CMS processes, they are equipped with learning tools contained in videos, toolkits and forms.