Module A3: Education Indicators and Data Analysis

6. Additional education indicators

A wide range of indicators are needed to monitor the six EFA goals. in local areas, school managers and local education officers may also confront problems and issues that are specific to their environment. The kind of indicators they use in problem-solving and decision-making may go beyond the list given in Table 1 in Section 5.2.

When deciding on which additional indicators to produce and use, education administrators should first review what kind of data are available at school and in the local area, and how complete and reliable are these data, so as to determine which indicators can be produced and meaningfully used. in doing so, one must also consider how the additional indicators complement the core EFA indicators by indicating more detailed and specific issues relating to ‘reaching the unreached’ and quality of education in the local context.

It is important that these additional indicators reflect the EFA indicator concepts and methodology, and can also be used to contribute to EFA monitoring at the national and global levels. in this way, policy-makers and education managers at all levels, as well as other stakeholders in local communities, can obtain a more consistent and comprehensive picture of the state of EFA implementation.

6.1 Additional education indicators based on school data

As shown in the preceding sections and examples, the data and information available at school and in the local area can be used to derive many additional education indictors. Standardizing school records across the whole education system and using the data collected through the annual school census questionnaire can ensure the indicators are comparable across the whole country, and thus useful for all schools and local communities.

Among the EFA indicators marked with an ‘*’ in the list in Section 4.1 (see the corresponding numbers in the middle column of Table 2 below), available data in school about students, teachers and classes (listed on the left-hand side in the upper part of Table 2) can be used to derive the recommended EFA indicators of enrolment ratios, intake rates, pupil-teacher ratios, percentage of qualified/trained teachers, pupil-class ratios, repetition rates, promotion rates, dropout rates, survival rates, completion rates, and gender parity indices. These school data can also allow additional indicators to be derived such as the percentages of schools offering complete primary education, improved water sources, and improved sanitation facilities (see right-hand column in Table 2).

Other additional EFA indicators can be calculated from a second group of school data which relate to textbooks, duration of travel from home to school, student performance results, teacher training and qualifications (see the middle part on the left-hand side of Table 2). These indicators include the percentage of students who do not have the required textbooks, textbook-pupil ratio, percentage distribution of primary school students by duration of travel between home and school, the proportion of students who have mastered nationally-defined basic learning competencies, and the percentages of teachers with pre-service or in-service teacher training, who have the minimum academic qualifications, and who are certified to teach (see right-hand column in Table 2).

The third group, in the middle column in the lower part of Table 2, refers to recommended EFA indicators that will require specific data to be recorded at school, or to be collected from school or district education offices. Such data are specified in the corresponding left-hand column of the table.

Additional indicators that can be derived using the data in school records, or collected using the school census questionnaire are shown in the right-hand column of Table 2.

Activity 7

Taking into account the data available to you, review the examples of additional education indicators listed above in Table 2 in relation to what you use to monitor education in your school, district, province or country, and answer the following questions:

  1. Which of the example additional education indicators suggested in Table 2 can be relevant and useful to you? Why?
  2. How should one go about producing and using these additional education indicators?
  3. What other additional education indicators do you think can be produced using the data available to you? Why?

6.2 Other EFA indicators and data sources

The other EFA indicators without ‘*’ in Table 1 in Section 5.2 are those that will require data from sources other than school records and school census questionnaire. Table 3 below presents alternative sources of data for deriving these other EFA indicators, and for creating additional indicators.

In relation to EFA monitoring, population censuses and household surveys (see data sources A and B in Table 3 above) are especially important for collecting data about:

  • Population, especially data on school-age and school-entrance age population
  • Literate and illiterate population
  • Education attainment of the population
  • Access to school and school attendance
  • Ethnic, linguistic and religious profile of the population
  • Disabled persons
  • Employment and occupation

Data on school age and school-entrance age population are necessary for calculating enrolment ratios and intake rates. data about the adult population can be used to derive literacy rates and percentage distribution of the population by highest level of education attained. data collected about school attendance during household surveys, like the MICS (Multiple Indicators Cluster Surveys), the LSMS (Living Standard Measurement Surveys) and DHS (Demographic and Health Surveys), can be used to calculate school attendance rates and other education indicators that complement the enrolment ratio, repetition rate and dropout rate.

For reaching the unreached under EFA, the most useful data from population censuses and house- hold surveys are data about the numbers, characteristics and location of disadvantaged population groups, such as those from ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, the disabled, and the poor. When these data are reviewed together with data about literate and illiterate people in the population, their highest level of educational attainment and school attendance, these can help to identify who and where are those persons who have missed out on opportunities for education. This information can be used as a basis for planning targeted EFA campaigns to reach the unreached.

In order to derive some of the other EFA indicators (those that are not marked with an ‘*’ in the list in Section 4.1), special surveys of other data sources (C in Table 3) can be conducted to collect data about the other levels and types of educational institutions and programmes covered by the EFA goals, such as the ECCE centres, secondary schools, technical/vocational training centres, adult and continuing education centres and programmes.375, 38in a way similar to the census of primary schools, these surveys can collect information about the institutions, their programme(s), physical facilities, finance, students/learners and teachers/trainers. if these institutions, schools and centres also practice systematic records management, this can help to ensure that useful and reliable data are readily available.

Various administrative records, which are kept by government departments from the central to local levels, may contain data that can be used to derive education indicators. Such data sources (d in Table 3) may contain relevant information concerning various types of educational and training institutions, centres and programmes under different ministries, agencies and bodies. data from these sources about finance, teachers, salaries, examination results, and disadvantaged population may be used to calculate eFA indicators.

6.3 Gathering data from other sources

Population censuses usually take place once every ten years. Household surveys may be organized every 2-5 years depending on the type of household survey and the need to update certain data. The timeliness of data from these two sources may not correspond exactly to the EFA monitoring schedule. Estimations and projections can normally be made to obtain more timely data. Such estimates can be requested from the national Statistics Bureau or relevant government departments.

Most countries make such population estimates and projections for the national and provincial aggregates, though not for district or local areas. unlike the population census which collects data from each and every household in the country, household surveys like the MICS, DHS and LSMS only cover a sample of the households, hence the resulting data are less representative of all the local areas and characteristics. One should therefore use them with caution especially to avoid wrong assertions and over-generalizing during interpretation.

Data about other levels and types of educational institutions, centres and programmes may be collected either systematically on an annual basis like for a primary school census, or through special ad hoc surveys. it will be necessary to contact the relevant government department or body responsible for collecting such data, in order to request the data needed to derive the indicators.

Administrative records which are kept in relevant ministries, departments and local government offices may contain data and information that can be used for calculating education indicators. Take advantage of the proximity of local government offices to the population and the schools in the local area, in regularly obtaining and updating data and indicators.

Different data sources and types of data and indicators will have to be used in monitoring all the six goals of EFA. When using data from sources other than the schools such as population censuses, household surveys and administrative records, attention must be paid to ensure the consistency of the data obtained. Some of the data quality control methods presented in Section 6 of Module A2 may be adapted for use. One should not hesitate to resort to other ways to verify and improve data quality for example by checking if the definitions and data collection or recording methods differ from one source to another, or when the indicators derived from these data sources contradict each other.

One other limitation is that sometimes definitions of data differ from one household survey to another. As a result, the additional indicators obtained cannot be meaningfully compared. it is recommended to follow all the procedures listed in the next Section 7, so that one can ensure the validity of indicators created. To add indicators for capturing a more precise picture of education, keep in mind that there can be hidden problems with adding indicators due to the unavailability or doubtful quality of data. Strict application of the indicator concepts and methodology in the previous sections for creating and using indicators to monitor EFA progress is required.

Activity 8

Enquire about past and upcoming population censuses and household surveys in your district, province or country and the availability of education data thus collected, and the same about other surveys of education, and then answer the following questions:

  1. Which population censuses, household surveys and other surveys of education have been con- ducted in your district, province or country? When?
  2. What kinds of education data have been collected? How can you access them?
  3. What other relevant education data can be accessed? How?
  4. How would you go about using all these data in monitoring education and EFA?

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