Managing educational quality in an AIDS environment: development of a district-level database

Case Studies & Research
Malawi. Ministry of Education
31 p.

Maintaining and enhancing educational quality in the context of the HIV and AIDS epidemic is particularly difficult because the virus is infecting increasing numbers of teaching and administrative staff in the education sector. The epidemic is also affecting pupils. Many have lost one or both parents, leading to financial strains and erratic attendance. In this context, it is important to track on a regular basis factors affecting educational quality during the school year in order to take corrective and preventive measures. However, in order to define, implement and monitor relevant strategies, appropriate information tools are needed. IIEP, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the UNESCO National Commission for Malawi, has designed a model for a local information base that is both sensitive to AIDS impact on staff and pupils and useful in monitoring educational quality. This educational management information system (EMIS) involves the computerization of data collected at the school level for analysis and decision-making at the district level. Many of the data are already collected through the annual school census and/or inspectorate services. Certain data, like the condition of school facilities, are collected and reported once a year. Other data, such as the number of teachers absent, present, on sick leave or who have died, are reported and computerised monthly. Officially started in March 2005, this district-level EMIS initiative (DEMIS) is designed to strengthen the capacities of District Education Offices, Primary Education Advisors and head teachers to monitor educational quality through the building of a local information system and covers two districts of the Centre-West Education Division, Lilongwe Urban and Rural West. It is envisaged, based on the achievements of this pilot-project, that the initiative could be generalized across the country.

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