New "Scoala Mea" platform facilitates citizens’ engagement in and monitoring of the quality of education service delivery
CHISINAU, February 20, 2014 – A new “Scoala Mea” online platform was launched today in Moldova during an event at the World Bank office in Chisinau. The portal (http://scoalamea.md/) was created by the Moldovan independent think-tank Expert-Grup with support from the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), a World Bank-administered initiative.
Improving the quality of education is a priority for Moldova. The government, with support from the World Bank-financed Moldova Education Reform Project, is implementing comprehensive reforms to improve learning and value-for-money.
The GPSA-supported project “Empowered Citizens Enhancing Accountability of the Education Reform and Quality of Education in Moldova” will allow parents and the general public to get information on key parameters of the schools (class-size, student-teacher ratio, number of students and teachers, qualification of teaching staff), the school budgets and spending, as well as the schools exam results and how these compare to rayon and country average. In this way, the project will support the government’s education reform program by making schools more accountable.
“Moldova was one of the first countries to join the Global Partnership for Social Accountability,” said Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “Public institutions work best when citizens can see what they are doing. So the World Bank is helping parents and communities to analyze data on their children’s’ school. That way schools can be truly accountable to ordinary people.”
“With school performance cards disseminated by the Ministry of Education to all schools and the new platform 'Scoala Mea', students, parents and the whole community have better ability to hold schools accountable for quality of education services provided. It is particularly important in the context of the Government of Moldova’s education reform which increased autonomy of schools in managing financial and human resources,” said Maia Sandu, Minister of Education of Moldova. International evidence suggests that school autonomy in allocating resources tends to be associated with good performance in those education systems where most schools make achievement data public.
“The newly created ‘Scoala Mea’ platform provides key information on operation, budgets and performance of schools for students, parents, teachers and the whole community, which can be used in policy debates, budgeting and setting development priorities at the school level,” said Victoria Vlad, Project Coordinator from Expert-Grup. This was confirmed by Emilia Taulean, parent from Liceul Teoretic ‘Gaudeamus’ in Chisinau, who said “Thanks to public hearings organized in our high school, the whole process became more clear and transparent.”
This five year initiative has the following specific objectives:
- Facilitate engagement of local stakeholders in approximately 100 schools using social accountability tools and promoting a dialogue on school budgets;
- Improve the flow of information on the performance of education services from users of these services to local and national authorities;
- Promote the use of social accountability tools as inputs into formal education budgetary processes;
- Inform the public about the impact of wider economic and financial conditions on the educational sector and reforms;
- Support the Ministry of Education and other policy stakeholders in improving the quality of data to better support an evidence-based policymaking process.
Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over US$1 billion has been allocated to 49 projects in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 8 active projects with total commitment of US$235.2 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, agriculture, environment, and others. The International Finance Corporation has invested US$259 million in 24 projects in various sectors, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency has provided guarantees totaling US$95 million. Both institutions are members of the World Bank Group.