PESHAWAR: Mardan and Peshawar will be the first two districts where a system will be introduced to streamline activities at the education department.
The pilot project for this initiative, titled Action Management System, was approved by Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif Khan on Thursday. It will be launched by the provincial government.
In the past, the Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) had identified the errors in education system.
These reservations were directly taken up with the department.
However, under the new system, an action management body will work with IMU and take immediate action against any glitches reported in this regard.
Past and present
Sohail Raza, an institutional development specialist who introduced IMU in Punjab, Sindh and K-P told The Express Tribune the provincial education sector did not have a monitoring framework to report credible, reliable and timely data before the units were established.
“Before the system was introduced, absenteeism among teachers was rampant,” Raza said. “Schools were often closed due to the absence of facilities. Fewer students were enrolled at schools.”
With time, IMU has borne fruit. As per IMU data from May 2015 to May 2016, absenteeism of teachers has reduced from 21% to 16%. In addition, the attendance of non-teaching staff has also improved and absenteeism has dwindled from 21% to 18%.
According to these statistics, the number of schools that have been closed down has drastically reduced from 2,174 in May 2015 to 825 schools in May 2016. Furthermore, the number of non-functional schools has reduced from 265 to 118 during the same period. The data revealed visits from district education officers at schools have increased from 21% to 29%.
Raza said the first step to forming IMUs was to develop a realistic appraisal of all input-based indicators.
“This formed the basis of IMU in March 2014,” he added.
The specialist maintained a network of 550 data monitors was hired through National Testing Service.
“They were responsible for visiting every school in K-P,” Raza said. “The data monitors are in turn monitored at the district level by a district monitoring officer. More than 95% schools are visited by data monitors in K-P every month and data is collected about 11 key education indicators.”
Raza said the monitors collect the data by answering a questionnaire in a customised android application.
“The data is uploaded on the IMU dashboard in real-time and the access to the dashboard has been given to all district education staff and to members of the provincial education department to take corrective measures in a timely manner.”
He said monitoring has led to the reopening of over 440 schools that were either non-functional or remained closed. In addition, action had been taken against 8,000 teachers over negligence.
“IMU also recovered Rs80 million through salary deductions of teaching and non-teaching staff,” he said. “Over 300 teachers and school staff were terminated from their services or made to retire.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2016.