Return to frontpage
January 7, 2012

Unified School data system soon


Arun C. Mehta, head of the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), said here on Friday that NUEPA would soon be coming out with a unified data-capturing format for collection and processing of data on schools.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the Regional Workshop on Data Analysis, Sharing and Dissemination organised by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Kerala, Mr. Mehta said that the unified school data capturing system being developed by NUEPA would be rolled out throughout the country, including Kerala, by next academic year.

‘‘The Government of India had constituted a committee, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of NUEPA, to study and analyse how a unified system can be developed to capture and consolidate statistics and data related to schools in the country. As per this, a pilot project on unified school data capturing has already been implemented in Puducherry and two districts in West Bengal. By 2012-13 the unified data capturing system will be implemented in the rest of the States,'' Mr. Mehta said.

He said that information on all levels of school education, right from standard one to the higher secondary level, would be covered in the new unified system that had been mooted to avoid duplicity because of the prevalence of too many State and national level educational information systems. The unified data capture system will primarily be a consolidation of the District Information System for Education (DISE) covering elementary education under the SSA and the Secondary Education Management Information System (SEMIS) covering secondary education under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), both developed by NUEPA.

‘‘Under the new data capturing system, we will collect information on all schools, including unaided schools, unrecognised schools and madrasas. According to the new approach on educational planning, as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, education is the basic right of every child, even if he or she is studying in an unrecognised institution. Collecting information of such institutions and bringing those students back to the mainstream is also part of educational planning,'' Mr. Mehta said.

He said that there was a major disparity in the DISE information provided by the SSA Kerala in 2011 as a large number of unrecognised schools in the State have not been covered. ‘‘Even though the State has almost 100 percent literacy, the enrolment ratio (number of students enrolled divided by population of children) in primary level is only 67. Where are the rest of the children? Obviously they are all enrolled in unrecognised institutions,'' he said.

Mr. Mehta, who inaugurated the two-day workshop, said that as per the RTE Act, school education planning, from now on, will begin from the school level. It will be the responsibility of the respective school management committee, constituted in schools as per the Act, to formulate a detailed development and educational plan for their institution.

‘‘This bottom-top approach on planning will ensure better results in terms of development of schools and enhancement of quality of education. Every school will have to prepare their plan based on the nine parameters as given under RTE,'' said Mr. Mehta, who was instrumental in the development of DISE, which received three major e-governance award in 2010.

As many as 137 SSA representatives from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep participated in the workshop. Representative of the World Bank, Deepa Shankar, Educational Consultants India Ltd (EdCil) senior consultant Shailendra Sharma and Shailendra Sidgel from UNESCO also participated in the workshop.