INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGIES (ICT) AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR EDUCATION MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (EMIS) IN TANZANIA
Yazidu Saidi Mbalamula
Education Management Information System (EMIS) is essential to empower planning process to translate educational policy into actions. The application of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in Educational settings is equally important for developing economies such as that of Tanzania to pursue two mutually reinforcing stimulation of socioeconomic and global agenda of economy prosperity goals. There is close link between ICT and EMIS, and the efficiency and effectiveness of latter is considerably affected by the former. It is in this contention that as per analysis made in this paper which reveals that ICT is still suffering from serious shortcomings, which unless solved, EMIS will continue to be ineffective and inefficient strategy. Three major problems identified in the paper include the (i) lack of infrastructure and systems in place to facilitate effective monitoring as a result utilization of ICTs in Tanzanian education institutions are dismal due to low connectivity and teledensity (ii) insufficient numbers of qualified technical personnel to manage and maintain ICT resources, (iii) inadequate training and capacity development resulting in underutilization of ICT facilities. This paper provides a basic and general review of how ICT influences and hampers EMIS effectiveness and efficiency. Also recommendations are provided at the end on how to improvise EMIS in order to maintain quality information in various educational processes.
Keywords: Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Education Management Information System (EMIS)
Education Management Information System or Services (EMIS) includes typically limited to centralized databases containing basic, school level data: Pupil data (enrollment, age, repetition, dropout); Teacher data (experience, placement); School inventory data (location, number of classrooms, equipment etc.). EMIS also includes: Performance Data; School finance information. Therefore EMIS is involved in gathering the required data, analyzing the data and turning it to useful information to be used by management in decision making, tracking, compliance and strategic intervention (Wako, 2003).
The definitions and scope of EMIS vary from country to country. There is no ideal “model.” However, there are proposed best practices from different countries which can be used to improve among clients, consultants and donors as to what EMIS will actually need to include in given their policy priorities. This will optimize the deployment of resources and clarify downstream monitoring and evaluation (Crouch et al, 2001). Successful management of today’s education systems requires effective policy-making and system monitoring through data and information (Hua and Herstein, 2003). To this end, countries around the world have invested significant resources into collecting, processing, and managing more and better data through education management information systems (EMIS).
Governments through respective education ministries have established EMIS programmes for number of reasons including Change in leadership which creates new and immediate demands, briefings, data for new policy initiatives, and also basing of fact that new leaders have rarely trusted the current information system; donor interventions which have raised an agenda with values (transparency, democratic participation) and goals (comparative achievement data) that impact information generation; broader reform efforts which have geared “modernization efforts” across the government to generate calls for greater use of technology and performance measurement at the sectoral level; and improving internal efficiency where ministers have evidently addressed issues of redundancy or improved targeting of resources typically require a greater degree of data accuracy and precision.; these can all be categorized into two major groups, namely, modernization efforts and accountability efforts (Crouch et al, 2001).
On the other hand Many national and international aid agencies, government and non-governmental organizations (NGO), see the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a rapid way of helping the economies and governance of less developed countries (LDC) through improved management and more effective dissemination of information (Sander et al, 2005). With raised awareness of the potential that ICT has demonstrated in improving the quality and access to education, the Tanzanian government, through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) developed and adopted ICT policy for Basic Education in 2007(Hare, 2007).
 Modernization Efforts: Most common; frequent after government/leadership change; tend to be much unfocused as to what information is actually needed; commitment tends to be weaker; less cognizant of EMIS costs and political hazards.
Accountability Efforts: Less common and usually the result of a major law, policy decision or strong external pressure; more specific data needs because policies and outputs are often better defined; immediate demand and collective drive for results.
- Quote paper
- Yazidu Saidi Mbalamula (Author), 2014, Information, Communication and Technologies (ICT) and its Implication for Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) in Tanzania, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/271449