Module A3: Education Indicators and Data Analysis

1. Purpose and expected learning outcomes

1.1 Overview

in modules A1 and A2, we learnt about two methods of collecting data: through school records and by using an annual school census. in this module, we will learn how to transform raw data into meaningful information using indicators.

indicators are usually numbers we can use to compare performance especially related to a benchmark figure or target. They tell us how we are progressing towards a goal, and performing as compared to others.

When you have completed this module you will understand what an indicator is, and how to select and derive various indicators that are used in the education system and for measuring prog- ress to achieve eFA goals.

1.2 Getting started

“There is a lot of talk about eFA indicators. What exactly are they? What do they have to do with us?” one district education officer asked another district education officer before the start of a provincial eFA review meeting.

“At each school management board meeting, you always prepare and provide us with all kind of data tables and analysis about the school. What do all these data really tell us?” an eminent member of the school management board at a community school asked the school principle, “can you make them easier for us to understand?”

At a newsstand, a lady who is accompanied by her daughter in school uniform is glancing at the newspaper headlines. “These newspapers often talk about how good our schools and students are,” she mumbles, “i don’t see these at all in my daughter. How can we know the truth about our educa- tion system?”

The above questions have been asked time and again by all kinds of people who are concerned with education. This Module aims to respond to these concerns.

1.3 Learning objectives

Through this training module:

Education officers at all levels of the education administration, from school mangers to the central Ministry of Education will learn about:

  • what education indicators are.
  • the importance of using education indicators to monitor progress toward EFA goals.
  • how to select and produce education indicators.
  • use of education indicators during data analysis and for informed decision-making.

District education officers, school managers and local community stakeholders will understand:

  • why it is necessary to produce and use education indicators.
  • how to obtain relevant and useful education indicators, especially for monitoring eFA.
  • what to do with education indicators once they become available.
  • how to continue to produce, improve and use education indicators.

Education policy-makers and administrators at the central and provincial level will update their knowledge about:

  • how to make good use of education indicators in policy for mutation and decision-making processes.
  • how to promote the systematic production, dissemination and widespread use of the latest education indicators.
  • how to help district and local education officers, school managers and local community stakeholders to understand and use education indicators at their respective levels.

The education indicators described in the following sections closely relate to the data in the school records (presented in Module A1), and those collected through the annual school censuses (described in Module A2). in order to improve the monitoring and evaluation of progress toward achieving education for All (eFA) goals, it is especially crucial for education officers at district and local levels, as well as school managers, to understand the purpose of indicators and how best to produce and use them. improved knowledge and practice in using education indicators can lead to significant improve- ments in the management of education and eFA at the local and grass-root level, which will decisively contribute to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of eFA actions for the nation as a whole.

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