Education related data collection gets big boost | 09 August 2019
Education related data collection, management and dissemination is expected to be more effective and timely now that a new data collection platform that is expected to come into operation before the end of this year has been successfully piloted here this week.
A 42-member delegation from the Pan-African Institute for Education for Development (IPED), a specialised institution of the African Union Commission (AUC) tasked with the responsibility to function as Africa’s Education Observatory, is in the country to assess the existing data collection and management system, test the new tools for data collection to be introduced – the DataPlat – meet with education ministry management team and hold a workshop to validate the tools. At the core of IPED’s mandate is the establishment of a continental Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) that provides a continental platform for AU member states’ national EMIS systems.
Yesterday morning the delegation met officials from the education ministry at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (auditorium) to review the pilot exercise which has already been conducted in various AU countries and Seychelles being the last on the list also hosted the validation of the new system.
Addressing everyone present for the validation session, Dr Odile de Comarmond, the principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education, said the ministry recognises the importance of data management in the socio- economic growth and development of Seychelles and other AU member states.
“The provision and transportation of data in the education sector remain crucial towards the enhancement and provision of quality education on the African continent and as a country Seychelles will no doubt benefit from the introduction of such a data platform as we are experiencing a process of transformation within our organisational structure and are setting the course of the implementation of our five-year education medium term strategic plan 2018-2022 and beyond.”
Lukman Jagi, policy officer for ICT and EMIS leading the delegation, said their mission had consisted of meetings with the education management team where they emphasised on the importance and the need for IPED to pilot the African Union Data Platform here following the approval of the government.
He said the data management platform will allow for the collection and transportation of data from the different schools into a national data repository.
“This is a very important exercise for us because the African Union relies strongly on data coming from the member states in order to be able to help them design policies and support them in several areas. Instead of us waiting for data from them we went to find out what their challenges are regarding data collection in order to be able to help them strengthen that process so that reporting to us becomes much easier,” said Mr Jagi.
In the case of Seychelles, Mr Jagi pointed out that the challenges identified are mostly related to inconsistencies in data collection, poor and unreliable collection methods as well as slow transmissions issues which the new system being piloted will hopefully address in an effective manner.
The data management platform which is expected to be operational before the end of the year is being commissioned free of any charges by the African Union and Seychelles is the last country where the system is being piloted.
He thanked the ministry of education for its support and the school management for their cooperation and understanding which has resulted in a smooth-running mission.
The local coordinator for EMIS at the ministry of education, Allain Theresine, remarked that providing quality and reliable data to their local and international partners according to the requirements of their agreements are not always timely and this is because the existing system is not as reliable and effective.
He said the new system was successfully piloted at the Anse Royale secondary school and the professional centre for arts and designs (SIAD).
“Therefore the new data collection and management system will help member states to deliver timely reporting of their data. The new system is modern and flexible, different people can access it at the same time,” Mr Theresine remarked, noting that once operational the system will be very effective and reliable but commitment and rigorous training of everyone who will make it work is paramount to its complete success.