2019 School Census Starts


By Ayodele Deen-Cole

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education (MBSSSE) under the leadership of Alpha Osman Timbo Esq. has embarked on this year’s annual school census.

For this year activities, the MBSSE and the country school management will transform the census from paper-based to digital data-base system. To do this, the Ministry has brought together various data technology experts to digitalize education data collection and management. With the success of this plan, business will no longer be as usual for education management in the country.

According to the Minister, prior to the start of the census, they had sent out all the necessary documentations to the heads of pre-primary and secondary schools. He noted that the papers were sent to the schools so that they will be able to use the new system from paper-base to digital-base with the use to tablet and smart phones.

He stated that they decided to use the new equipment so that they will be able to collect real time data to support the planning and decision exercise in the Ministry and other sectors.

Alpha Timbo also noted that they have trained   enumerators and deployed them in respective districts, who will in turn train district enumerators that would eventually be visiting schools to capture the required information.

Minister Timbo continued that with the method, they will be capturing school locations through GPS, to coordinate the schools and at the same time, capture photographs of teachers, Wash and other facilities available in the schools. He also disclosed that they will capture the number of schools and teachers in the country plus number of school going children. He further noted that they should be able to own those particular data.

According to the Chief Innovation Officer, David M. Sengbeh, having an integrated education data all together in one place is essential for understanding quality, noting, “we can talk about quality, but if we don’t know what the issues are we can’t talk about quality.”

He concluded, “we don’t have those data already so as part of the drive for quality in the frequency allocation programme is ensuring that the government has the right and clean up data which can be used to learn, develop policies and come up with new ways of understanding how our children learn, how the teachers perform and how the government gives money.”