Current data collection, processing, and reporting practices provide snapshots of education systems, but are not yet systematically incorporated into education policymakers’ decisions about school improvement in many countries. This can be achieved by scaling innovations that improve the organization, interpretation, and use of education data for school improvement.
Research from the KIX project, Data Driven School Improvement (DSI) - Opportunities, Challenges, And Scalable Solutions, addresses how countries can adapt and scale such an innovation, namely the School Improvement Framework (SIF), to optimize the use of education data at all levels, from individual schools to central/federal-level decision-making.
For optimal utilization of Education Management Information System (EMIS) data at the school level, it is crucial to organize and convey the data to schools and all levels of government to assist them in identifying and addressing the needs of the schools. Research conducted in Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces has found, however, that key officials in the management hierarchy are not adequately using this data. The Assistant Sub-Divisional Education Officers (ASDEOs), who directly support approximately 50 head teachers, lacked access to or did not use the information provided on the SIF dashboard for the development of school-level improvement plans.
After engaging with the provincial government on this issue, the EMIS Director for the region informed the project Team Lead that, as a result of the issues identified by the research team, ASDEOs would be granted access to the School Status Index dashboard to enhance their support and strategic planning for school improvements. Two months later, District Education Officers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa issued letters to all ASDEOs and Sub-Divisional Education Officers (SDEOs), encouraging them to use the SSI dashboard.
This outcome is key to improving education data utilization and this project’s overall objective. Granting ASDEOs access to SIF information, such as the School Status Index data, is important for strengthening school-level capacity to use that data in decision-making processes. This access also allows for comparisons of different schools within the ASDEO’s jurisdiction. Access to this information enables the ASDEOs to allocate their time and plan their visits to where they are most needed. It also allows school leaders to identify areas of improvement and strategies to address them. In further engagements with relevant government stakeholders and development partners in KP, the project team will also emphasize the need for providing greater guidance to ASDEOs on the interpretation and use of SIF related information as part of their school leadership training to help improve the performance of schools.