Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup summarizes the results of the fourth year of implementation of “Scoala Mea” (My School) project during the annual conference held at World Bank Office in Chisinau, today, December 4, 2017. During the event, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research appreciated the efforts of 20 beneficiary schools, awarding their managers with certificates for implication of citizens in budgetary dialogue and promotion social responsibility in the educational sector.
In four years of implementation, the project engaged about 45,000 people in 24 districts, but also Chisinau and Balti municipalities and Gagauz territorial unit; 80 beneficiary schools learned and applied social accountability tools for school budget analysis and created opportunities for students and their parents to improve educational processes in their schools.
The State Secretary for Research Sector at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research – Ms. Elena Belei - said: "The Educational Code and the Strategy for the Development of Education emphasize the role of collaboration between public authorities, the administration of educational institutions, parents and students, making it indispensable in the educational sector." The official reiterated the importance of partnerships in the development of a society, which opens up new perspectives on the development of social accountability activities in the educational sector.
The fourth year of the "Scoala Mea" initiative enjoys higher openness for the budgeting consultation exercise, both from public authorities at local and rayonal level. The presence of mayors, head and deputy-heads of rayons at the public hearings of schools budgets, as well as their involvement in solving school problems indicates over a change in behavior that the project aims to produce. Also, more non-beneficiary schools are implementing social accountability tools independently, so that good practices are replicated in a number of schools exceeding initial expectations.
„Community involvement in the decision making process is a good way of contributing to public services improvement” said Ms. Anna Akhalkatsi, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. – „Collaboration among parents, pupils, teachers and other stakeholders will contribute to better education outcomes, as well as to community development.”
At the annual conference, Expert-Grup also presented the results of the quantitative analysis of over 5000 questionnaires for evaluation of the educational services and the assessment of open data availability in education. These studies complement the series of social responsibility activities, providing school managers a benchmark for comparison with the situation in their own schools and a review on the availability of data that can be used in the educational process. The analysis of the participation cards indicates over a quite high level of satisfaction with the quality of education. However, in the opinion of the respondents, there is space for improvement in the curriculum and the skills developed by school. Among the critical aspects indicated by the respondents are those related to infrastructure and nutrition in schools.
At the end of the conference, Ana Popa, “Scoala Mea” project coordinator at Expert-Grup, mentioned that 2018 is the last year of project implementation and the list of 20 beneficiary schools selected will be made public shortly.
“Scoala Mea” project is implemented by Moldovan Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research and five regional civil society organizations and supported by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability of the World Bank. The mission of the project is to engage citizens in activities contributing to more efficient, transparent and better schools.