Seth Davis, Programme Advisor, Community Systems Foundation
To meet the goals of the 2016-2026 Education Sector Plan (ESP), the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) Lesotho is embarking on new initiatives to improve nationwide EMIS capabilities to drive evidence-based change in the education sector.
To track individual learners and their teachers at the school and aggregating this data into meaningful statistics at the regional and national level, MoET collaborated with UNICEF and Community Systems Foundation (CSF) to use the OpenEMIS toolkit as a means to provide electronic data capture in the country.
In the MoET Education Sector Plan, the Ministry indicated that there are priority areas in access to education (enrollments), infrastructure maintenance, absenteeism, examinations, repetition and dropout rates and assessments. With these areas in mind, the MoET aims to achieve several of these goals with better data facilitated through OpenEMIS Survey in order to drive better education outcomes.
A map showing pilot results from the first phase of OpenEMIS implementation
Initially tested in 48 schools to provide data offline in August 2018, OpenEMIS Survey was later expanded to include 179 institutions in November 2018. This two-stage pilot project aimed at progressively expanding the sample size to meet the expectations of MoET before being rolled-out to all schools in the country.
In this regard, offline and online administration of census and survey forms were produced using OpenEMIS Core and OpenEMIS Survey to test how these tools can improve existing procedures in Lesotho, and notably reduce the time required to collect and process education statistics from schools
With a combination of OpenEMIS Survey for data collection, OpenEMIS Dashboard for data dissemination and OpenEMIS Monitoring for tracking progress on the ESP, Lesotho is now well positioned to foster informed decision-making through the strengthening of EMIS data feedback loops for data producers and data consumers.
Building on the success of the OpenEMIS pilot activities, MoET is now preparing to expand the scope of digital data collection. In 2019, the MoET, UNICEF and CSF renewed their collaboration to test and deploy two additional innovations: OpenEMIS SMS for real time monitoring of teacher attendance and OpenEMIS Logistics to track procurement and delivery of textbooks to students.