All over the world, a record number of people are moving away from a life of poverty to a life of plenty thanks to education and Digital Technology. To improve the educational outcomes of students and make sure that their needs are met, we need reliable data. It is very important that the data from the ground level reaches the Top administration as fast as possible. Multi-school student Information systems such as Open-School Enterprise are the tool to serve this need. In this series of Blog posts, we take a look at some of the countries which would be best helped with the implementation of a Nationwide School management system or education MIS (Student Information System).
In Zimbabwe Education is under the jurisdiction of two Ministries. 1) The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education manages primary and secondary education and 2) The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development manages higher education. The education system consists of 13 years of primary and secondary school and runs from January to December every year.
In 1980, education was made a basic human right by Robert Mugabe. He altered the constitution to include primary and secondary education (public) as free and compulsory for the citizens of Zimbabwe. One of Zimbabwe’s Millennium Development Goals was to achieve universal education for all its students; however, the goal was not achieved in 2015 due to a public health crisis, an economic downturn in the region and the inability of the state to afford the costs associated with secondary education. The Zimbabwe government is currently working toward a more sustainable goal of providing universal and free education to all its students by 2030. On the positive side, Zimbabwe has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa (was 92% in 2010).
In Pakistan, Education is overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in accreditation, curriculum development, and in the financing of research and development. Article 25-A of the Pakistan Constitution obligates the state to provide free and compulsory education to children of the age group 5 to 16 years.
The education system is divided into six levels: preschool (for the age from 3 to 5 years), primary school (grades one to five), middle-school (grades six to eight), high school (grades nine and ten – Secondary School Certificate or SSC), intermediate education (grades eleven and twelve – Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSSC), and university graduate programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The literacy rate in Pakistan ranges from as high as 87% in Islamabad to as low as 20% in the Kohlu District. Another point to note is that English is fast spreading in Pakistan, with more than 92 million Pakistanis (almost 49% of the population) having a command in the English language, this makes Pakistan one of the top English-speaking nations in the world. Pakistan produces ~445,000 university graduates and ~10,000 computer science graduates per year. Despite the above statistics, Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and a very large out-of-school population (5.1 million children). This is the second largest in the world after Nigeria.
Education is an important political objective in Ghana. But the magnitude of the task, economic difficulties, and political instabilities have slowed down the attempted reforms. The Education Act of 1987 and the Constitution of 1992, gave a new impetus to educational policies in the country. The Ministry of Education handles the implementation of education policies, in cooperation with the local authorities. Increasing the priority of vocational education and of ICT training (information and communications technology) are clear objectives of the Ministry.
Education in Ghana is divided into three stages: 1) Basic education (kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school), 2) Secondary education (upper secondary school, technical and vocational education) and 3) Tertiary education (universities, polytechnics, and colleges). As per law, education is compulsory between the ages of four and 15 (basic education). The language of instruction in schools is mainly English. The academic year in Ghana usually runs from August to May. In 2010, Ghana’s literacy rate was 72%. In April 2015, 90% of children in Ghana were enrolled in school, ahead of countries like Pakistan (72%) and Nigeria (64%).
The government of Uganda under the UPE program recognizes education as a basic human right and they continue to strive to provide free primary education to all children in Uganda. Unfortunately, these efforts are hindered by issues with teacher training, funding, and inadequate facilities. There is also a significant difference between enrolment rates in primary and secondary schools in Uganda. Only one in ten Primary school students go for secondary education.
The education system in Uganda has 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education (4 years of lower secondary school and 2 years of upper secondary school), and 3 (Undergraduate) to 5 years (Postgraduate) of post-secondary education.
The Tanzanian government always emphasized the importance of education from the time of its independence in 1961. This effort is focused on the policy “Education for Self-Reliance”. The curriculum is standardized by level and it is then used as the basis for the national examinations. Due to various causes children are not receiving the education that they need, including the need to help families with labor, poor accessibility to schools, and poor infrastructure.
Tanzania’s school system is catered towards the wealthy. Also, less than 30% of students achieve secondary education, and the language barrier between primary and secondary education is the main issue. The language of education for primary school is in Kiswahili, but the language of secondary school is English. Education in Tanzania is promoted by both the public and private sector schools. Education starts with pre-primary education, followed by primary (Six years), secondary ordinary (Form 1 to 4), secondary advanced (Form 5 and 6), and then, university-level education (Graduate and Postgraduate programs).
As you can see from the above paragraphs you can see that many countries have tremendous potential for growth. Implementing a nationwide school management system will make sure that the schools in such countries reach the next level of flourishing. For companies that work in this field, it is also an untapped opportunity as the market in developed nations gets saturated with competition.