Parent-teacher associations—supported by the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and Eco-Développement (Ecodev)—are collaborating with the Ministry of Education to ensure it is accountable in providing quality education for the most vulnerable children. This is a great example of how citizen action can lead to better education outcomes locally and nationally.
The TOME project
Progress in Mauritania’s education sector is hampered by a high degree of centralization and a lack of financial resources. To support the country’s education system, in 2017 the GPSA provided a US$605,000 grant to Ecodev, a national civil society organization, to lead actions that strengthen school governance and improve learning.
The project, called Transparency of the Mauritanian Education Budget (TOME), piloted a partnership with parent-teacher associations, working within multi-stakeholder school management committees (Comités de Gestion des Écoles, or COGES) in 40 primary schools in 2 provinces. The project promoted the participation of girls and women in the committees.
TOME developed a framework, in which civil society and Ministry of Education staff collaborated to improve the quality of basic public education. The project introduced offline and online monitoring tools used by all partners at school, local and regional levels, and an online platform called Medrassety.net in participating schools.
Medrassety allows school directors to check teacher attendance, teachers to view the program and homework assignments, and parents to see their children’s schedule, teachers’ notes and school events, among other functionalities.
Ecodev conducted trainings with parents and teachers to increase the capacity of school management committees. Some trainings were jointly organized with COMEDUC, which receives support from the GPE Education Out Loud fund. With 40 member organizations, COMEDUC seeks to elevate the voices of local communities into the national policy dialogue.
Elevating the voices of local communities
The TOME project strengthened the interface between the state and citizens through the establishment of participatory committees, which is making the education system more efficient and accountable.
The project engaged with a total of 260 people, including parents, teachers, school principals, administrative service staff and even mayors at the school and regional levels. At the national level, the project worked with representatives of the Ministry of Education, parliamentarians and civil society groups like Ecodev and the Fédération nationale des parents d'élèves de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (FENAPERIM).
“The TOME project has trained us on how to value the relationship between the different educational actors and the role of each one. This training has made our relationship fluid and homogeneous,” says a head teacher in Tidjikja.