Government, UNICEF, and Partners Launch Innovative System to Track Schools for Better Service Delivery

By Mark Kawalya

Tracking enrolment and available toilet facilities in schools in Kamwenge District has historically posed significant challenges for government officials. A recent collaborative effort between the Government of Uganda, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners has developed an innovative system that is improving service delivery in the education sector.

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) introduced the Education Management Information System (EMIS) to overcome the difficulty of accessing accurate education data. UNICEF, in response, introduced the Kobo Toolbox, an open-source data tool that facilitates the identification of critical information such as latrine facilities. The tool also identifies, available classrooms, and learners’ desks. This improves the planning and implementation of educational initiatives.

The Kamwenge District Planner, Moses Katushabe, underscores the significance of this system. “The system enables us to engage relevant authorities for more precise planning and implementation.” The Kobo Toolbox has greatly enhanced data collection and analysis, enabling officials to calculate crucial metrics like the ratio of learners per facility.

MoES, with support from UNICEF, conducted training sessions and equipped district education teams with necessary resources. This included equipment such as laptops and tablets, to ensure the effective utilization of the Kobo Toolbox.

With this capacity building, these teams have been able to collect, analyze, and utilize data effectively for decision-making purposes. A dedicated team of data collectors, equipped with tablets, routinely gathers essential information on various educational indicators. This data typically includes student enrollment, retention rates, infrastructure, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities. The collected data forms the basis of discussions during quarterly education coordination meetings, thereby facilitating better planning and action.

Nyabitusi Primary School (NPS) is one of the schools that attests to the impact of the Kobo Toolbox. Data collection revealed pressing issues at the school, such as inadequate water and sanitation facilities. This information has been the basis for a collaboration between the district and partner organizations to effectively address these challenges.

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