Philippines: using open school data to improve transparency and accountability

S. Parafina, Redempto
Ethics and corruption in education
88 p.

Online version

About the publication

The number of countries providing access to school data to the general public has grown rapidly over the past decade, encouraged by the development of information technologies and under the pressure of social movements demanding the right to information. A wide variety of initiatives have been developed by both governments and civil society, to share school-level information in the form of 'school report cards'. These provide key information about a school, e.g. on student enrolment, funding, number of teachers, teacher qualifications, pupil–teacher ratios, conditions of school facilities, textbooks, and student achievement. But now that such data are in the public domain, how can it be ensured that they are used to promote not only transparency but also accountability in the education sector? This publication compares the design and implementation of three major open school data initiatives implemented in the Philippines: school report cards (SRC) and transparency boards introduced by the Department of Education (DepED), and CheckMySchool, a civil society initiative. It covers the types of information published, who publishes it and how it is accessed; the critical data for improving transparency and accountability; how different categories of stakeholders access and use it; the requisite conditions for improving transparency and accountability; and the limitations of such processes. The study highlights that the emergence of current forms of these initiatives is a sign of the maturing culture of openness in the Philippines education system, with SRC and transparency boards being the preferred model for information access, and CheckMySchool for accountability. The publication concludes with a number of detailed recommendations including: integrating SRC and transparency boards into one implementing unit of the DepED, formally recognizing students as SRC users, issuing instruction on the documentation and reporting of SRC assembly meetings, setting calibration trajectories for SRC implementation, and studying institutional adoption of CheckMySchool-type of citizen-led initiatives to strengthen the use of SRC.