Education ministries across Africa have been urged to digitalize as every process along the education service has to be fully inspected using quality data indicators.
Such data should, therefore, be fully documented and disseminated at all levels to advise and inform the management and policy development.
Speaking at a joint stakeholders workshop on Teacher and Learner Attendances in Africa, Coordinator of Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) Working Group on Education Management and policy Support Makha Ndao said many African nations face challenges in the data value chain particularly on absenteeism and still use paper-based systems.
“Many African nations are faced with numerous challenges in the data value chain including in the collection, compilation, analysis and reporting of statistical data in the education sector. The lack of inadequacy of comparable data does not all a rigorous evaluation of the scope of the challenges facing the sector,
“One challenge that is prominent but scarcely covered is around tracking teacher and learner absenteeism which has a direct bearing on the learning outcomes.
“Better understood by its inverse concept of attendance, teacher and learner attendance is a growing problem facing the pursuit of quality education in schools in Africa,” said Ndao.
Absenteeism not only prejudices the learning outcomes of the children in the classroom but also represents a waste of public and private resources.
Very few studies on African education systems have effectively and concisely correlated teacher and learner absenteeism with its impact on learner achievement and the direct financial costs to government.
“Many schools across Africa still use legacy paper-based attendance systems rendering data analysis feeble, to the extent that data on attendance is rarely included in the Annual EMIS repo
ADEA Project Analyst, Simbarashe Dzinoreva told 263Chat that absenteeism is a big problem in Africa because it is still one of the gaps ministries are not able to capture.
“Absenteeism in one of those challenges or data gaps that ministries are not able to capture, there are no instruments or tools that capturing whether teachers or learners are at school and what problems and challenges are stopping them from going to school,” said Dzinoreva.
ADEA through its Working group on Education Management and Policy Support has been exploring innovative new technologies for efficient and effective school management which is expected to collectively culminate into a greater Smart School System.
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