Seth Davis, Communications Officer, Community Systems Foundation
Traveling over 10,000 miles, Officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture (MoEYSC) Belize traveled to Singapore to attend an OpenEMIS Advanced Lab Trainings in mid-November. As the culmination of a successful three year project, four key counterparts from the MoEYSC successfully completed the trainings to build individual and institutional capacity in preparation for national roll-out of BEMIS, the national adaptation of OpenEMIS.
Based in the the OpenEMIS Lab, the Advanced Trainings enabled MoEYSC counterparts to receive in-depth and hands-on trainings from software architects, developers, data experts and education planners with the goal of best understanding the OpenEMIS toolkit as it relates to education policy creation and decision-making.
Having spent the last several years building knowledge on EMIS generally, gaining experience with OpenEMIS and undertaking the Professional and Administrator training courses, Ministry counterparts are now able to confidently manage the OpenEMIS environment and have developed the necessary capacity to facilitate the access and dissemination of education data nationwide.
Reflecting on her experience at the closing ceremony of the trainings, Dr. Neulin Villanueva, the Deputy Chief Education Officer in Belize, noted that “The MoEYSC understands how important OpenEMIS is, not just for Belize, but for all of the countries that are coming onboard.”
Elaborating on this point, Dr. Villanueva stated that “OpenEMIS allows the Ministry to be targeted in our responses.” She emphasized that prior to the system, policymakers in Belize could “see the number of dropouts and repetitions, but were not able to see the story and really trace what happens to individual children.”
The trainings were customized to meet the requirements and priorities of the Belizean education sector. In preparation for national roll-out and the release of the Belize Education Management Information System (BEMIS) dashboard, trainings widely focused on the production of statistics and the OpenEMIS Dashboard Builder to ensure that counterparts are able to successfully create and manipulate the system to best fit their needs.
Through dashboards that display real-time and accurate data, Dr. Villanueva believes that all Ministries using OpenEMIS, including the MoEYSC in Belize, can create more focused and targeted interventions in the education sector.
The Advanced Lab Trainings also covered a breadth of OpenEMIS tools including OpenEMIS Core, Classroom, Dashboard, Data Manager, Data Warehouse, Integrator, Profiles, Survey and Staffroom.
As the Belize Advanced Lab Trainings came to a close, and as participants were presented with their certificates of completion, Dr. Villanueva ended her speech by noting that there are “Limitless possibilities with OpenEMIS” and that “All other countries are going to benefit from it.”