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GES, Millennium Alliance sign MoU to scale up digitised system for schools monitoring

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Chief Nat Nsarka (2nd left) and Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa displaying the documents after signing the Memorandum of Understanding
Chief Nat Nsarka (2nd left) and Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa displaying the documents after signing the Memorandum of Understanding

The Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Millennium Promise Alliance Inc, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to scale up the mobile School Report Card (mSRC) to cover all basic schools in the country.

The mSRC provides a digitised end-to-end process for collecting real time data concerning pupils, teachers, resources and overall management at the school level.

The Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, and the Country Director of Millennium Promise Alliance, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarka, signed for their respective institutions at the Ministry of Education last Monday.

How it works

The technology, designed with the support of the USAID, is to help education officials to monitor the work of teachers using a phone or tablet.

Hitherto, that was done manually and did not create the right ambience for proper supervision.

With the mSRC, the management of the GES at the district, regional or national headquarters is able to access data on school attendance by pupils and teachers of any of the basic schools in the country.

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The UNICEF and the GES started a pilot project with the mSRC in 20 districts in 2016 to improve data collection and performance of teachers.

As part of the MoU, the organisation will assist the GES to map all basic schools in the country, so that schools under trees, as well as those with poor infrastructure, will be identified and prioritised.

This will enable the GES to know, at the click of a button, the location of all such schools and strategise on how to assist each with a modernised school infrastructure.

Scale up

In a brief comment, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said he was happy that the organisation had agreed to partner the educational sector to scale up the mSRC to cover all the basic schools in the country.

He made reference to the pilot project carried out by UNICEF and the management of the GES in 20 districts three years ago and said it was time for a scale up to cover all public basic schools.

“The time has come for the scale up with the signing of the MoU,” he said.

Need for legislation

For his part, Chief Nsarka congratulated the management of the GES “on the good work” it had been doing over the years, which attracted the attention of not just his organisation but also the whole world.

He pledged the commitment of his organisation to support the GES “in a more sustainable manner; Sustainable in the sense that once we start a project of this magnitude, it must be backed by policy and law, so that the next person who comes does not have any reason to erase it”.

He suggested that for the project to be sustainable, “we must convert the lessons learnt into a policy framework that can support how we go about it”.

Tablets

Chief Nsarka hinted that his organisation was prepared to give out as many tablets as possible, adding that to start with, about 800 tablets loaded with applications would be made available to be distributed to headteachers and other officers to ensure the uninterrupted implementation of the project.

He pledged that the organisation would keep providing the tablets until the last person who required a tablet to ensure that the work was done received it.

“So we would want to support the educational sector to be able to come up with a mobile hand-held device policy that will define clearly how we should handle the mobile phone or the tablet that we give you.

“That way, it will define clearly how the data should be protected because any information that comes out from this platform can go a long way to harm a school pupil, a teacher or someone else,” he said.

Chief Nsarka also said the organisation would want to support the building of the capacity of the GES staff to ensure that people who needed the skills acquired them to ensure the sustainability of the programme.

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