Combating Corruption Through School-based Monitoring of Education Services in the Philippines

Combating Corruption Through School-based Monitoring of Education Services in the Philippines

YEARS: 2011-2013
THEME: Education

The Ateneo School of Government – Government Watch started the implementation of the project “Combating Corruption through School-Based Monitoring of Education Services in the Philippines: Establishing G-Watch Local Hubs,” shortly known as “DepEd – CSO Local Hubs,” in June 2011 in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) with support from its long time partner, the Partnership for Transparency Fund.

A series of meetings were conducted between the G-Watch team and DepEd through the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS), Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division (PFSED) and the Procurement Service (PS) to conceptualize and plan out the effective implementation of project activities.

Mobilization and enlistment of more civil society organizations (CSOs) were carried out through the conduct of the National Roll Out of Bayanihang Eskwela (BayEsk) and the Re-launch of Textbook Count. The identification of regional and division coordinators for BayEsk and Textbook Count with additional ground working of the project team helped in determining CSOs that could be tapped for the project.

Briefing Orientations were conducted in the regions of the pilot divisions. For Region VIII divisions, the briefing orientation was held on March 5, 2012 at the Regional Education Learning Center in Palo, Leyte. As for ARMM divisions, it was conducted on March 18 – 19, 2012 at the Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City. Lastly, divisions in Region IV – A were oriented on March 20 – 21, 2012 at Tri-Place Hotel in Quezon City. A total of 75 Local Hubs members (20 in Region IV – A, 23 in Region VIII and 32 in ARMM) were further capacitated on the G-Watch Social Accountability technology with highlight on constructive engagement, their roles as members of the Local Hubs and the activities to be undertaken to enable school-based monitoring.

The Local Hubs members were tasked to facilitate school-based monitoring in their respective divisions. The facilitation activities included (1) conduct of briefing orientation for the school-based monitoring teams (SBMTs) (2) deployment of the SBMTs to the projects to be monitored (3) consolidation of the monitoring tools (4) processing of monitoring results and (5) sending report to the National Coordinating Group. Through the facilitation of the Local Hubs, a total of Php 391M out of the Php 894M worth of projects were monitored with corresponding reports.

Sharing Sessions were conducted to (1) gather the experiences of the Local Hubs members in the facilitation of the school-based monitoring and (2) discuss issues and challenges encountered in the course of facilitation process. The Sharing Sessions were conducted on September 11, 2013 at the RELC for pilot divisions in Region VIII, on September 30, 2013 at the Ateneo School of Government for Region IV – A pilot divisions and on October 1, 2013 at the AlNor Hotel for ARMM divisions.

A Problem Solving Session was conducted on October 11, 2013 at Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center. Attendees of the Problem Solving Session include representatives from DepEd, specifically from the IMCS, PS and Offices of the Assistant Secretaries on Planning and Chief of Staff and from a national CSO, the Boy Scout of the Philippines National Council.  The objectives of the Problem Solving Session are the following: (1) present issues and challenges as generated from the implementation of project activities in the pilot divisions (2) present recommendations to address the issues and challenges discussed (3) solicit responses and commitment from the national stakeholders.

The pilot-test of Local Hubs proved the viability of such intermediary mechanism as an enabler of school-based monitoring provided that (1) its application will take into account condition of the local context and (2) support will be provided for its operations. The paper entitled Lessons and Recommendations in Sustaining School-Based Monitoring of Education Services presents the lessons learned from the various sustainability efforts of G-Watch including the pilot run of Local Hubs and recommends ways how to enable and sustain school-based monitoring.

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