Data to improve education: implementing OpenEMIS in Belize
The education system in Belize is going through a comprehensive program that looks into various components to improve the quality of education in the country. While such an effort involves various aspects of the education system as a whole — from improved teacher training to increased parent involvement —, an interesting part involves the implementation of an open source, royalty-free Education Management Information System: OpenEMIS.
Information management is a big issue with education systems. As IADB specialists Emma Näslund-Hadley and Alejandro Pareja Glass explain:
“Quality education requires that the progress of each student is assured. However, to do this teachers need tools to, for example, identify children who need special reinforcement. Also, principals need to identify teachers who need more support, and administrators of educational systems need to identify schools that need further assistance.”
However, such information is not readily available in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region as not all data is collected and managed as it could be — with the support of specialized IT systems — to nourish tactical and strategic decision-making.
That’s where the use of an EMIS comes in. This system allows decision-makers to manage (capture, process, analyze and report) all key information regarding students (registration, transfer between institutions, formative assessments, periodic qualifications, national examinations, data from parents, special needs, health status, etc.), schools, classes, curriculum and teachers (registration, licencing, training, skills, contract type, skills, promotions, etc). The system also supports managing of all the links between entities, records, inspection processes and assessments made by the educational authorities of both educational institutions and faculty.
In Belize, the chosen system is the OpenEMIS, a software conceived by UNESCO to be “a royalty-free system that can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of member countries”. This system can be easily implemented with the technical support of specialists who assist with training, advocacy materials and technical support activities. The OpenEMIS Belize will be in full use after finishing the already started training program and can be accessed at https://blz.openemis.org/.
You can see more about what the implementation of the OpenEMIS will be like in the video below.
And you can get more information about the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MOEYS) project for Education Quality Improvement here.