This day is hectic. We start with an early-morning breakfast and presentation run-through, then head out to the event. There are people here from mongolia, cambodia, vietnam, the philippines, india, sri lanka, japan, indonesian, USA (erm… just me, aka the token white dude), all working together to improve education through communities, with tech as an enabler (not, note, as the end-point of each idea). There’s lots of work on citizen participation, and I have a great time hanging out with a mix of public-school teachers, government officials and designers. CheckMySchool is the working school-reporting system (SMS, parents, children, ownership et al) that I’ve seen other countries try to build, Bantay.ph is doing similar for government services and one of the local telecoms companies (Smart) has done interesting work on classrooms based on tablets. The thing that they all have in common is that they’re designed as systems, not technologies, and designed to be sustainable through creative use of communities and student grades (for instance, bantay.ph is part of the political science curriculum). One comment that sticks is that agencies are easy to deal with but mayors don’t care about negative feedback – this devolved power could be an interesting issue for any other schemes rolling out across the country.
I help facilitate the Making All Voices Count brainstorming session on tech in education (I also talk about Ushahidi tools: of the 48 platform instances I’ve found in the Philippines so far, most are about disasters or traffic). Corruption, bad governance and high workloads are big topics here.
I check in on Ruby. She still doesn’t seem so bad.