About DISE

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The context

The DPEP was initiated in late 1994 as a unique and innovative effort towards achieving the objectives of UPE in educationally backward districts of India. At the project inception stage, it was realized that a sound information base for planning and monitoring of project intervention was an almost non-negotiable requirement. There were many challenges to establish and sustain such a system. This was particularly so as the prevailing system had completely lost its credibility with the data users. The educational statistics collected by the states under the guidance of the MHRD were not only inadequate to meet the growing needs of the decentralized planning but were characterized by inordinate delays, highly aggregative and were not amenable to validation and reliability tests. Since school statistics formed the core of educational statistics, it was rightly recognized that major reforms in school statistics both in terms of their scope and coverage as well as availability and use have to be carried out. Accordingly, NIEPA took up this as a challenge and accepted the responsibility for designing and implementing such a system for primary education.

 

THE APPROACH

The task of developing a school based statistical system was initiated by NIEPA during 1995 with the financial assistance from UNICEF. In tune with the spirit of DPEP, the district was selected as a nodal point for collection, computerization, analysis and use of school level data. The system was later on extended to state and the national level. The state level EMIS cells coordinate the activities of the districts.

NIEPA professionals with the involvement of other experts designed and developed the core data capture formats. Accordingly, NIEPA designed a software for implementation at the district level and provided the necessary technical and professional support to DPEP districts. A first version of the software named as District Information System for Education (DISE) was released during the middle of 1995. The district level professionals were assisted in the establishment of EMIS units, trained in the data collection, computerization and analysis using DISE. A major emphasis was on user orientation in the use of educational and allied data for planning, management, monitoring and feedback on the DPEP interventions.

In addition to the DISE, many additional mechanisms for data validation and quality control of school statistics were also introduced. First, a 5-10% validation check is undertaken in all districts immediately after data collection. Second, the software provides for many consistency and validation checks. Third, a national survey is conducted every 2-3 years to establish the quality and reliability of DISE data. The second post enumeration validation survey is in progress now. Fourth, the reverse flow of data has been strengthened to ensure transparency and dissemination of data up to the school level. These types of validation measures and transparency of data has resulted in considerable improvement in the quality of data collection and reporting.

The DISE has also a built in provision for regular feedback. Besides the annual review workshops, the first major review of the DISE was undertaken during 1997-98 and was further followed by an extensive review during 2000-01 resulting in DISE2001. The capacity building program for implementing the new data capture formats and the software (DISE2001) have been undergoing since last one year. The continuous improvisation is necessary to reduce data redundancy and fine tune the data collection formats and the corresponding software with the emerging needs. Therefore major reviews with a 3-4 years gap have not only provided the necessary inputs for updating the EMIS approach but also ensured continuous involvement of the states and stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation.

 

MAIN FEATURES OF DISE 2001

 

DATA FLOWS

The flow of data plays very important role in information system. DISE2001 is a tool to support the decentralized planning and management of DPEP. The basic data collected from the primary schools is be verified by the Block Education Officer/Block resource Coordinator for its completeness and delivered to the District EMIS in-charge/DPEP Project Coordinator who will maintain records of all forms. Village data will also be collected and sent to the district in the same manner. The data is first computerized and analyzed at the district level.

District level data is aggregated at the state level using DISE@S software which is specially designed for state level analysis and tracking the progress of key performance indicators.

The data entry and consistency checking will be taken up at the District level. The data once validated will be stored at the District level and made accessible to the state DPEP office. The national level DPEP Bureau will also have access to the institutional level data.

 

SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE

DISE2001 is based on the modular approach. Besides data entry and reports, software provides number of utilities for the end users. The architecture shows the arrangement of the components. DISE2001 is divided into seven modules as follows:

 

FUTURE TASKS

DISE is presently operational in more than 200 districts covering 18 DPEP states. Recently, Government of India has decided that the DISE, 2001 will be extended to all the SSA districts with immediate effect and to all the remaining districts of the country by year 2003-04 data collection. Interaction with the states for implementation of DISE2001 in non-DPEP states/districts have already started.

DISE is also being developed in regional languages so that the users find it convenient to interpret the data and analyze various types of trends in regional/local language. The distribution of school summary reports in regional languages would be very useful for the school headmasters and the member of the Village Education Committee to understand the progress of their school over the years.

Many states are also approaching the MHRD to extend the DISE to cover the whole of school sector. Preliminary work has already been initiated in this regard.