Over the years, application to kindergartens in Chisinau remains one of the most opaque and corrupted public services in Moldova. Worth noting, although the process of application is inherited form the Soviet period and, as a result, is obsolete, the quantity of kindergartens in Chisinau corresponds to the amount of children that are supposed to attend them in compliance with the legislation. When children are born they ought to be signed up for the kindergarten by their parents in accordance with their place of residence and when a child reaches a 3-year age he starts attending the kindergarten in that area. However, some people form sub-urban localities or even form other regions of Moldova prefer to place their children in the capital (Chisinau), though they do not have any legal grounds for that. These people bribe public servants, and they falsify their documents making this procedure a legal one. Moreover, some parents are trying to choose a better kindergarten, in their opinion, in another district of Chisinau, again breaching the legal provisions. Another category of parents, “negotiating” with public servants, place their children before they achieve a 3-year age, since most mothers are pressured by their employers to return to work. Consequently, all these cases contribute to the disruption of the current mechanism and long waiting lists of children who have to attend the kindergartens emerge in Chisinau due to the “lack of places”. Thereby, people are complaining of the corruption and negligence. At the same time, they cannot do anything as the system involuntary makes them pay bribes to provide a place for their children in the kindergarten.
Thereunto, some categories of people – parents studying at the universities, people with disabilities – have certain benefits in compliance with the legislation. For instance, they can place their children in kindergartens a bit earlier or they have preferences of moving over the waiting list. Nevertheless, because of the lack of information, these people do not know about that, and public servants do not communicate them neglecting this regulation. Subsequently, these people are deprived of their rights stipulated in the legislation.
Additionally, parents have to go directly to district administrations to submit all necessary documents; thereby, losing their time. Thus, during “hot periods” of the year – May to June –huge queues are emerging near district administrations. And people have to stay for hours to enrol their children in a kindergarten. Another problematic part of the service is payment. According to existing rules people can pay for the kindergarten services solely to the state bank. It is extremely inconvenient for parents as they are forced to wait in queues for hours to pay this service, within the limited number of days each month.
Thus, the problem with this service boils down to the obsolete and inefficient mechanisms with a high level of corruption.
As a solution of this problem, we offer to develop an online platform that will allow people to apply for the kindergartens in Chisinau online. The platform will map the kindergartens in the city and will contain full information about them (location, information on facilities, offered services, public transport routes, and contact information). Parents will have an opportunity to apply online and track the progress of their application from the personal account. Online queue will be absolutely independent and self-regulated based on the provisions of existing legislation in force. Moreover, the data of the parents preferences aggregated on the platform will help the authorities to plan more efficiently where to build new kindergartens, where kindergartens should be expanded or contracted. Furthermore, after testing stage the E-kindergarten platform will be scaled up to other localities of Moldova.
We will develop an online platform with online application for the places in kindergartens. In addition, we’ll adapt it to be mobile-friendly for the convenience of the final beneficiaries. E-kindergarten will be using open data on kindergartens that will inform parents about each kindergarten in their area and will also include a comments section where parents will be able to communicate anonymously for general public on the irregularities at a specific kindergarten.
As a result, the E-Gradinite platform will:
Increase the trust in local public authorities (currently the level of trust is about 56%) as the window of opportunity for corruption will shrink
Increase the satisfaction with the service, as the long physical lines in front of the districts administration will disappear
Will give parents an outlet to flag out the irregularities and therefore improve the overall quality of the service (wistleblowing function)