The Lesser Antilles island of Barbados has made significant investments towards the improvement of its education sector. From 1999 – 2009, the government worked towards achieving the objectives of the Education Sector Enhancement Programme (ESEP). Along with four other components focusing on improving quality of education, changing the way schools operate, teachers teach and children learn, the information and communication technologies component involved a phased deployment of technological infrastructures and related equipment in all primary and secondary schools as well as the provision of networking infrastructure.
At the end of ESEP, the country had equipped schools with approximately 8,000 computers, deployed Information Technology Coordinators (ITC) and started improving statistical data collection mechanisms through generalisation of electronic data entry tools based on Access database in all public and private primary and secondary schools.
The current setup helps the Ministry to collect information from institutions and provide aggregate data for the yearly digest and provisions to UNESCO.
Despite those major achievements, the current data collection and information sharing tools remain limited, notably lacking integration of statistical information accross institutions and access to disaggregated information about pupils and education personnel. Recently, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Innovation (METI) commenced with activities geared towards a further improvement of their current education sector data collection and analysis mechanisms through pilot testing and deployment of an online education management information system, OpenEMIS.
OpenEMIS is a customizable, web-based EMIS which will provide timelier, accurate, individual, disaggregated data for decision-making. Through a three year work plan, Community Systems Foundation (CSF) will provide technical support and training services to the Ministry for implementation. Through context specific configuration, this system will allow schools and Ministry departments to easily provide and access data and will generalize evidence-based decision making nation-wide. Schools will be able to provide and retain institutional, staff and student data. The METI will be able to access real-time and existing data through reports and advanced analytical tools for sector management.
The existing ICT structures developed from the ESEP will be a strong base for the implementation of OpenEMIS in Barbados. The Ministry is working towards the improvement of its education sector and is committed to achieving the goals set in the National Plan. OpenEMIS will provide the tool necessary to establish a sophisticated monitoring system for the measuring of trends in key performance indicators of the national education policy.
|Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Innovation (METI)||Education||2017|
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