UNICEF / Ghana - Development of the Mobile School Report Card (mSRC) application to collect up-to-date data on key education indicators at schools at district levels.
In 2011, the Ghana Education Service (GES) introduced a paper-based School Report Card (SRC) to biannually capture and report on the teaching and learning environment in basic schools. The SRC gathered data relating to enrolment, facilities, staffing, teacher and pupil attendance, pedagogical functions, community participation, and funding to monitor the progress of teaching and learning, identify constraints, and initiate solutions.
The SRC was implemented in 75 districts with support from the Global Partnership for Education. Despite this progress, the SRC was inefficient in collecting, processing, and sharing timely data due to the costs involved in its operation including photocopying questionnaires at the district level. As such, the GES with support from UNICEF developed an Android mobile phone application- the Mobile School Report Card (mSRC), to collate existing data from the paper-based school report card.
The pilot of the mSRC app demonstrated the potential for generating reliable, quick, and up-to-date school-level data on key education indicators when compared to the traditional paper-based system. To continually strengthen learning, the Ghana Education Service with support from UNICEF sought to develop a pedagogical package for teachers to support targeted teaching through an initiative called the Strengthening Teacher Accountabilities to Reach every Student (STARS) program.
The mSRC was identified as the tool to monitor the effectiveness of the STARS program through the monitoring and evaluation of targeted teaching processes. To strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of student and school performance in delivering targeted training at Ghanaian basic schools, the Ghana Education Service (GES) in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE), and with financial support from United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), sought to upgrade existing Mobile School Report Card (mSRC) Android mobile phone application.
Bewsys was contracted by UNICEF to upgrade to the existing Mobile School Report Card (mSRC) application to enhance its usability and response to the program's requirements. In scoping the requirements of the task, the Bewsys consulting team reviewed the objectives of the program to develop the best features to support the effective implementation and monitoring of the STARS initiative.
The enhancement of the mSRC application was custom-built on the student registry, library repository, system administration, report generation, and the monitoring and evaluation modules of the Bewsys Education MIS. The Bewsys team worked in close collaboration with the end-users (i.e. the headteachers and circuit supervisors) to ensure that the newly developed functions and features were user-centered to deliver valuable user experience.
In the design process, an archiving system was considered to enhance the storage and retrieval of data. There was an integration of an electronic library domain to dispense targeted instructional materials for remote capacity development purposes. Additionally, a virtual support desk to serve as a contact channel for real-time assistive information was featured in the updates.
After fully meeting the requirements of the stakeholders, the application was piloted to ensure the functionality and feasibility before the full scale-up of the system. Additionally, the Bewsys technical team provided capacity building support and hands-on training to the Headteachers and Circuit Supervisors of the selected schools in the 20 UNICEF supported districts.
The modifications and developments made to the mSRC application enhanced the delivery of quality basic education by tracking and evaluating data on pupil’s learning progress and school performance under the STARS targeted training program. The new mSRC has improved the creation and delivery of targeted educational content to enhance the progress in training children according to learning levels rather than age.
Additionally, it is easier for Headteachers and Circuit Supervisors to generate reliable, quick, and up-to-date data on key education indicators at schools in the UNICEF supported districts for better planning and decision making. This contributes to the attainment of the sustainable development goals, highlighting quality education, reduced inequalities, and industry and infrastructure innovation.