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Armenia

Ensuring Transparency of the Election of Governing Boards of the RA General Secondary Education Institutions and of the Annual Budget Planning and Expenses of Ra General Secondary Education Institutions (AM0024)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Armenia, Second Action Plan, 2014-16

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Education and Science

Support Institution(s): World Vision Armenia

Policy Areas

Education, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Armenia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Armenia IRM Progress Report for 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The representation nature of the governing boards of the RA General education institutions (SNCOs) is sometimes violated, because there are cases when in the Governing Board a parent, who is meanwhile a pedagogue of the institution, is being elected. In that case the parent cannot be impartial, because, he/she also being a pedagogue, also works under the management of the institutions’ director. In this case, the governing board is not able to operate efficiently because of the vertical and the horizontal ties existing between the members.
For the purpose of ensuring proportionality among the Governing Boards of the RA general education institutions, an amendment will be done to the procedure of the election to the Governing Board, according to which persons who are involved in the given school’s pedagogical staff will not be nominated.
- Quite often the information on the annual budget planning and execution of the RA general education institutions is not available to the people receiving educational services of the general secondary education sector, which has a negative impact on the confidence-building environment and parent-school effective cooperation.
- Making amendments to the election procedure of the Governing Board of the RA general secondary education institutions,
- Ensuring transparency and accountability of the budget planning of the general education services (annual draft budget) and annual financial expenses on the web pages of secondary schools and in the corner of the announcement boards.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

9. Transparency of secondary education institutions’ Governing Boards elections and annual budget planning

Commitment Text:

The representation nature of the governing boards of the RA general education institutions (SNCOs) is sometimes violated, because there are cases when in the Governing Board a parent, who is meanwhile a pedagogue of the institution, is being elected. In such a case, the parent cannot be impartial, because, he/she besides being a pedagogue, also works under the management of the institutions’ director. In this case, Governing Board is not able to operate efficiently because of the vertical and the horizontal ties existing between the members.

For the purpose of ensuring proportionality among the Governing Boards of the RA general education institutions, an amendment will be done to the procedure of the election to the Governing Board, according to which persons who are involved in the given school’s pedagogical staff will not be nominated.

Quite often the information on the annual budget planning and execution of the RA general education institutions is not available to the people receiving educational services of the general secondary education sector, which has a negative impact on the confidence-building environment and parent-school effective cooperation.

Making amendments to the election procedure of the Governing Board of the RA general secondary education institutions,

Ensuring transparency and accountability of the budget planning of the general education services (annual draft budget) and annual financial expenses on the web pages of secondary schools and in the corner of the announcement boards.

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia

Ministry of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia

Supporting Institution(s): None

Start Date: August 2014     ...                                                                      End Date: March 2015

 

Commitment Aim

This commitment aims to increase transparency in the election of school boards, as well as in the annual school budget planning process.

Status

Midterm: Complete

At the time of writing of the midterm report, the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) issued an order to regulate a pilot process of planning of the annual school budgets and the presentation of annual budget execution report. As specified in the midterm progress report, MES established a working group  The Order of the Minister of Education and Science №205-A/Q, on 30 March 2015, approved the regulation on planning of the annual budget of general educational institutions and preparation of annual expenditure report.  to guide the process of implementation of the commitment. The working group conducted meeting at the beginning, in which members presented their visions on issues and took decisions on organizing the work. The working group did not keep minutes of the meetings. Opinions and drafts of the documents were shared via e-mail. As a result of discussions and consultations, the MES approved two regulations: the first brought an amendment to the formation of school councils  The Order of the Minister of Education and Science №102-N, approved on 24 February 2015, was related to making additions and amendments to the Order of the Minister of Education and Science №113-N adopted on 18 March 2010. , and the second regulation approved the procedures of planning annual budget of schools and the presentation of annual budget execution report.

Did it Open Government?

Civic Participation: Marginal

Public Accountability: Did Not change

Governing Boards of schools in Armenia are not always fully representative, and often there is lack of information on the annual budget preparation and its execution. The Government set an objective to improve the election procedures of the Governing Boards of the schools and ensure transparency and accountability of their financial management. Improvements of selection procedure will give the public more opportunities to participate in governance of schools by disallowing teachers with children studying at same school from representing parents on the Governing Board. Thus, more parents who have not been employed at school will get opportunity to be represented.

The first part of the commitment is related to information on planning and executing the annual budget of general education institutions. The MES placed an order to regulate the planning of schools’ annual budgets and the presentation of annual budget execution report. The second part of this commitment refers to formation of councils of schools. The procedures of forming school councils is regulated by the order of the MES  The Order of the Minister of Education and Science №113-N18, adopted March 2010, involved approval of Regulation of Formation of Collegial Management Bodies , Councils of the Republic of Armenia “public general educational institution”, state non-commercial organizations. . The Councils must be comprised of eight members: representatives of MES, the Marzpets  The regional governors appointed by the Government of Armenia.  or the Mayor of Yerevan, councils of teachers and councils of parents.  Government bodies and the school managements (selected by a government body) appointed six out of eight councils member. CSOs believe that current structure is not conducive to impartial governance by school councils. The revision prohibits school teachers (who, according to CSOs, are controlled by school management) from representing in the councils as parents even if they have children studying in the said school.

According to the Open Society Foundation Armenia (OSF), changes initiated by the MES under this commitment fail to go far enough. The document regulating elections of boards does not address some important issues, proportionality being one of them. Whereas, the document regulating the procedure of the annual budget planning and report on expenses was at probation phase until the end of 2015-2016 school year. After completion and finalization of its probation results, the document will have to pass official procedure of registration at the Ministry of Justice to become a normative document for schools. According to OSF, the MES does not have required information on effectiveness of the regulation’s implementation.

According to Freedom of Information Center of Armenia (FOICA), the CSO community is not aware of the impact brought by the changes in regulation, nor of the actions taken by schools. Actualimplementation and enforcement of regulation will require time as well as monitoring on part of the MES and the CSO community. The MES advised the Government to include the regulation of planning of the annual budget and reporting on expenditures of secondary schools in the exemplary charter of the “General Education Institution of the Republic of Armenia”.

Carried Forward?

The commitment is not included in the next action plan. To improve transparency of management and spending, schools could regularly publish their financial reports.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership