Workshop for Pacific Heads of Education Systems and Statisticians on Education Management Information System (EMIS)
For many years, the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) have made various efforts and attempts to develop an Education Management Information System (EMIS). Such efforts have been coordinated in collaboration with development partners who have had interests in education development in the PICT.
The results of such attempts have been mixed with varying degree of success. Initial attempts focused on the technology aspects which include the purchase of hardware and software development. Little attention was paid to capacity building of human resources in the Ministries of Education. Consequently, such attempts have lacked sustainability to continue to develop the EMIS.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), along with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/Secretariat of the Pacific Board for Educational Assessment (SPBEA), and UNESCO convened a regional workshop on EMIS for the Pacific Heads of Education Systems and statisticians, in order to examine what are the obstacles and challenges that impede EMIS to fully comply with its role in countries. The workshop was held from 13 to 15 March 2012 in Nadi, Fiji.
The PICT represented at the workshop were Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, RMI, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Only the FSM could not participate in the workshop. The development partners present at the workshop include AusAID, the Council of Pacific Education (COPE), PIFS, SPC/SPBEA, UNESCO and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
All 14 PICT presented their national EMIS status and challenges as a response to the survey on situation analysis and needs assessment for EMIS which was circulated by the PIFS to the PICT before the workshop. The PICT pointed out concerns on understanding what EMIS is and its role, the lack of support for EMIS by its stakeholders, inadequacies of EMIS in supporting decision making, lack of communication and understanding between senior MOE management and EMIS managers and lack of clear policies in MOEs regarding EMIS administration and management.
The following sessions consisted in the presentation of a regional synthesis of EMIS in the Pacific and a rapid review of EMIS as well as working group discussions and plenary sessions. The discussions focused on understanding the role and the importance of EMIS in providing the evidence of performance of education systems for decision making, and to identifying challenges in developing effective EMIS and the possible solutions.
The workshop’s results consisted mainly in two sets of key outcomes: (1) regional strategies for the development of EMIS articulated around five areas of (i) policy challenges (ii) capacity constraints (iii) quality information (iv) quality and reliability of data and (v) ownership of systems; and (2) regional modality for Implementation.
The PIFS is in charge of coordinating the development partners’ discussion on a proposal for the best means to implement a regional mechanism / modality to be submitted to the countries for endorsement.