DepEd, Ateneo School of Government launch technology-based transparency initiative
The Department of Education and the Ateneo School of Government have launched the initial implementation of checkmyschool.org, a technology-based mechanism that tells about the condition, services and facilities being provided in the country’s public schools.
By logging in to checkmyschool.org, the public can have access to information on a particular school’s budget, enrolment, teaching personnel, furniture, textbooks, classrooms, toilets, test performance and proficiency ratings, among others. The site facilitates interaction and allows users to send comments, photos, videos and additional information. The public may use the information like an independent third party monitor of government performance in providing education services.
According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro this initiative takes advantage of information and communication technology to promote transparency and social accountability in public sector governance. “Because it allows the public to send feedback on a particular school condition, it brings education-related concerns into the bigger arena of public scrutiny and appreciation,” said Luistro.
The pilot implementation of checkmyschool.org, which runs from August 22 to September 2, 2011, involves volunteer orientation, validation of information on available school services, reporting and closing. The pilot sites are National Capital Region, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Rizal, baguio, Benguet, Tacloban City, Leyte, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Cebu City, Iloilo, Davao City and North Cotabato.
Checkmyschool.org is a joint undertaking of DepEd and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific where the Ateneo School of Government serves as secretariat.
“Through this information-sharing project, we hope to enjoin the public and the private sector to contribute in closing education resource gaps that continue to hound our public schools. At the same time, it will give us feedback on how we can give better service to our stakeholders,” Luistro explained.
Preliminary information in the website came from the different units of DepEd such as the Basic Education Information System, Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division, Instructional Materials Council Secretariat, Procurement Service, National Education Testing and Research Center and the budget office.
Updates on school information will come from school administrators, volunteers and organizations in each local school.
The public may give feedback in many ways. They can validate or invalidate the accuracy of reported services, express satisfaction or dissatisfaction or suggest ways to improve performance or offer to assist the school.
“Direct feedback from citizens is always welcome because they reflect the immediate, on- the- ground needs of schools,” Luistro added.
To date, some 8,000 of more than 44,000 public elementary and high schools nationwide are included in the initial run of checkmyschool.org.