E-monitoring brings qualitative change in primary education
The newly introduced e-monitoring system helps the government bring a qualitative change in primary education by strengthening school monitoring at primary schools.
“Earlier, we monitored our schools manually, but now we do it using an app, which makes our task easy. We collect information from schools and upload those instantly so that all concerned can see the information,” said Zahidul Islam, an assistant upazila education officer of Kaliakair upazila, Gazipur.
He said when education officers upload information of schools during their school visits, the information directly goes to the website of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), and that is why senior officials can see those and take measures immediately based on the information uploaded.
In the past, Zahid said, they had to prepare school monitoring reports manually, but now they prepare reports digitally, which helps them save their time and paperwork.
“Basic change has come in primary education. Once the information of schools is uploaded and all can see those … considering the information, measures are being taken to solve the problems of schools, which helps ensure quality education at primary level,” he said.
Digital monitoring, commonly known as e-monitoring, is being conducted using an android enabled school monitoring application. In collaboration with the DPE, Save the Children, an international NGO, earlier developed the application based on the existing school monitoring checklist and browser based inspection data analysis dashboard.
The field education officers collect real time school monitoring data by smart phones or tablets. The summery and analysis of the school monitoring findings become available on web-based dashboard by different administrative levels.
Dilara Rahman, another assistant upazila education officer of Kaliakair, said after introduction of e-monitoring, one can get the information of students’ attendance of a school instantly through mobile phone which has internet connection.
As the application allows knowing from where field education officers upload information, she said, now all must go to schools physically to collect information, which strengthens the school monitoring system.
Officials at DPE said the existing paper based school monitoring system does not adequately reflect the actual school monitoring scenario as the data from field level aggregates multiple times before being provided to the central monitoring and evaluation section of the DPE.
To overcome the challenges, the DPE initially adopted the e-monitoring system in 40 upazilas of the country in 2017 where Save the Children provided direct training and smart phone device to 14 upazilas and the DPE provided training to the officers of 26 upazilas.
The DPE also brought another 40 upazilas under the e-monitoring system in fiscal 2017-18.
At least one upazila of the country’s every district has been brought under the e-monitoring system. It is expected that the e-monitoring system would be mainstreamed across country soon under the Forth Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP-4), the officials said.
Ruxana Parvin Hossain, senior manager in ICT of Save the Children, said since 2014, Save the Children has been working with the DPE to strengthen the government school monitoring system.
She said Save the Children piloted the e-monitoring system in five upazilas of Manikganj, Gazipur and Meherpur districts in collaboration with the DPE in 2015.
“After getting positive results, the DPE later adopted it and the department is set to mainstream the digital monitoring system across the country,” she added.
Ruxana said that Save the Children would like to continue working in partnership with the DPE for making the system more effective. –BSS