Qualities of Educational Management Information System (EMIS) Data Collection Processes and Outputs: Challenges and Suggestions for Way Outs
The major purpose of the study was to assess quality of EMIS data collection processes and outputs and make relevant suggestions for improvement. Specifically, the study intended to:
- Assess procedures of EMIS data collection tool preparation, EMIS data collection, EMIS data management practices and EMIS data verification,
- Examine reliability of EMIS data collection processes,
- Survey relevance and timeliness of EMIS statistical outputs, and
- Assess accuracy and consistency of indicators in selected Educational Statistics Annual Abstracts (ESAAs).
The study involved EMIS staff at MoE, regional, zonal, woreda and schools who filled in a structured EMIS questionnaire and responded to semi-structured in-person interviews. In addition, four recent years ESAA documents were also selected and reviewed for accuracy and consistency of indicators. For quantitative data, descriptive statistics (i.e. percentage, mean, standard deviation, frequencies, tables and graphs) were used for analyzing and presenting the data. Data obtained from interview was coded and analyzed thematically. The study revealed that:
- Lack of ICT infrastructures is impeding automated EMIS data management at school level.
- EMIS data is collected manually by school principals and unit leaders whose turnover is very high. In addition, bulkiness of the EMIS data collection tool was found to negatively affect quality of the EMIS data at the school level. Also, some of these principals have motivational and commitment problems which directly influence the validity and reliability of the EMIS data.
- Despite the attempts to ensure reliability of EMIS data collection processes, inflated and deflated reporting and pressured data collection time are challenging the processes.
In order to improve the current situation of EMIS:
- Both governmental and nongovernmental organizations concerned with the EMIS should coordinate their efforts and develop national EMIS policy, standard manuals and guidelines. The policy and manuals should stipulate how the federal MoE, regional, zonal, and woreda education bureaus and schools should involve in allocating adequate budget, providing relevant, and adequate training for the staff, increasing skilled manpower and reducing turnover, improving EMIS tool quality and conducting timely data collection.
- The policy should also indicate how EMIS should gear towards full digitalization with the ultimate goal of excellence in data quality.
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