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Case study: Education Management Information System in Rwanda

October 14, 2009

In Rwanda, Technology is Helping Education to be  Catalyst for Peace” describes an initiative to help the Rwanda Ministry of Education keep track of information about students, teachers and infrastructure across various educational institutions under its purview.

The solution being developed since 2007, consists of an Education Management Information System (EMIS) which the teachers, government personnel can use to enter and collect information digitally. Before work started on this project, schools used to “receive questionnaires to fill out by hand about the number of students, grades, etc, which were then collected physically in each district and brought to the ministry for the annual report.”

Among other things, the overview document mentions — “Because in Rwanda not every school or district has access to the Internet, users can store the data on a flash disk and bring it to the District Center or to a cybercafé to upload the information onto the online system.” This is similar to the connectivity issues that some of the C4G class teams, esp. LIS and V2V would be looking to solve for their respective project deployments.

There is not much detail given on technology being used and the business model being followed by the stakeholders (Rwanda Ministry of Education, Microsoft and other partners). This project can be an interesting case study on the following aspects -

  • How does the involvement of a major corporate (Microsoft in this case) affect the solution development.
  • Is the project technology/deployment closely coupled to the future performance of the corporate involved.
  • Does involvement of a large corporate always help (or not help)  in reaching an effective, sustainable solution.
  • Although it is natural for corporates to employ their own proprietary or open-source technologies, how is the resulting system kept flexible and resilient enough to a possible change of technology in the future.
  • Are corporate-backed initiatives prone to more “hidden costs” in the long run vis-a-vis an independent set of developers or an academic group.
Because in Rwanda not every school or district has access to the Internet, users can store
the data on a flash disk and bring it to the District Center or to a cybercafé to upload the
information onto the online system.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. julie permalink
    March 23, 2012 5:55 pm

    Quality management of primary education in India

    Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality. Education is equally key to enhance India’s competitiveness in the global economy. Therefore, ensuring access to quality education for all, in particular for the poor and rural population, is central to the economic and social development of India. Rather than investing in setting up schools and running it themselves, GEMS’ strategy in India (to start with) seems to be to provide consultancy services aimed at improving the efficiency of schools, for a percentage of fee collections. This is a clever, low risk and non-threatening way to get a position, especially in government schools. GEMS will be able to learn what works and what doesn’t without making any huge investments and later apply their learning’s when they are ready to set up their own schools in India.
    The concern for quality of education has been voiced from time to time in India. The National Policy on Education and the revised NPE again highlighted the urgency to address the quality concerns on priority basis. Quality cannot improve by itself. It requires multi-pronged and strategic reforms in teacher training; improvements in the facilities and infrastructure in schools; teachers’ motivation; and a change in the style of teaching to make it attractive to the students. The policy also recommended that a system of continuous and comprehensive evaluation would be established. Besides the 14 state level schemes to improve access and quality of education, a number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes and externally funded projects, undertaken in the recent years, are experimenting with various models of bringing about increased coverage, retention and improvement in quality.
    Such a model of school and teacher education will surely make every child (the future citizen) a trilingual with equal opportunities to interact comfortably with all his peers and teachers in any part of the country right from beginning years of his/her schooling and with a feeling of one country promoting equal access to similar schools having same quality teachers deserving equal treatment and respect from the entire nation. Once such a model comes into reality and becomes operational throughout the country, it is not difficult to realize the goal of not only UEE but also see citizens with universalised secondary education. That would be the modern India with strongly united feeling of one nation and with robust education system providing for truly democratic, accessible and impartial education paving the way for uniform standard, recognition of equality, belongingness, concern and respect for each other. But, basic problem is fulfilling one essential condition that is, filling empathy, willingness, determination, commitment, sincerity, honesty and objective action on the part of the state and all others at the wheel of affairs to realize such a model. Once that happens, it will lead to strongly integrated India with well-trained citizenry geared to all global challenges and opportunities. It will also set itself a meaningful, acceptable and realistic model for other developing countries. One can only hope for such a model to come into existence.

  2. March 24, 2012 4:46 am

    Anna Marie Agravante Mr. Benjamin Caruncho
    BS Education INSYSED

    Vietnamese country case on ICT and agriculture research systems

    Vietnam is an agricultural country. Majority of the total population live and work in rural area. Therefore, agriculture is the source of income for the majority of rural people. This is one major source of their country’s sustainable development. To reform the economic, they implemented new policies which enables the farmers to well explore technological potential of the green revolution. Science and technology, together with the state’s investment, have contributed to Vietnam agriculture’s shift to higher level of development.
    They enhance the quality of information systems of their institutes and universities but information search through Internet is very limited. Therefore they only put the information needed in classical tools such as books, newspapers, magazines, exhibitions, meetings, etc. They find it hard to communicate well because their institutes have different management.
    At present, a database for scientific management is being developed to store and update all major scientific information provided by research institutes and centers. In future, this database will be reached through Internet, linking research institutes, agricultural, forestry and water resource management colleges and universities together and with the Department of Science, Technology and Product Quality of MARD.
    Another database is being improved to store and update all information about research results, technological advances in agriculture both nationally and internationally. An electronic library will be set up to connect to this database to introduce two useful databases: CAB Abstracts database of CABI Publisher and the database of Cornell University. In future, institutes and universities in the agricultural research and training network could have online access to these databases through Internet and/or intranet.

    Information Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (ICARD) is the main body responsible for agriculture and rural development information within MARD. Information technology will play a very important role in the economic reform of Vietnam in which ICARD will be actively involved.
    Since they already have these kind of systems, they primarily needs an overall access to the internet. This would allow every member of their organization to be well informed of every actions of their institutes. They should create a websites on which every piece of information about daily improvements are there. But only members of a specific organization should have an access on these websites. Also, they must create another website on which the public can access it but it only have a limited information. With these, every people in their country will be informed and could suggest more ways of improving their country.

  3. Puneet permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:29 am

    Great case study

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