Official launch in Swaziland of ADEA Mobile Application for Capturing Teacher and Learner Attendance
Mbabane, 20th April 2017 – The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) through its Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training in Swaziland launched on 11th April in Mbabane, the Smart School System (3S), a mobile application for capturing teacher and learner attendance, financed by the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland and ADEA.
The official launch attracted 60 participants, among them the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Training, Mr. Patrick Muir; the Chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission, Mr. Simanga Mamba; the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Mr Ambrose Dlamini; several Government of Swaziland high level officials; a delegation from the Ministry of Education of Namibia in the context of the south-south cooperation; Local Education Groups; staff of the Ministry of Education and Training of Swaziland, MTN and ADEA-WGEMPS; teachers and school children as well as different media.
The Smart School System (3S) is an education management tool that has the potential to improve the management and reporting of daily teacher and learner attendance and contribute to the improvement of Swaziland’s education quality in terms of learning outcomes. The system currently captures teacher attendance data in real time together with aggregated attendances for students by gender, grade and status of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). It is built upon open source software, easily customizable, fraud proof and user-friendly. It has the ability to work offline and online, allowing it to reach remote schools and has relatively low implementation and usage costs.
The 3S application will be piloted in 55 schools across Swaziland starting on the 16th of May, 2017. It is anticipated that the pilot will pave the way for further improvements in view of the anticipated progressive scaling up in Swaziland and through a replication of the lessons learned in other African countries.
Mr. Simbarashe Dzinoreva of ADEA-WGEMPS who presented a detailed outline of the concept and architecture of the application, underlined the tool’s ability to enhance the capacity for data collection, management, analysis and communication, in addition to supporting concerted planning at national, regional and school levels.
The representative of the ADEA-commissioned consultancy group, Saltracker, demonstrated the use of the application, which could provide a conduit for the Ministry of Education to communicate with schools on a variety of issues, and may serve as a foundational framework upon which more innovation and technology could be built.
Findings from this initiative could be used by the Ministry to inform policy decisions and implementation orientation in view of improving the efficiency of the education sector. To this end, ADEA continues to support the 54 African member countries to explore cost effective mobile technologies and other management tools.
Delivering a speech on behalf of Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, the ADEA Executive Secretary, Mr. Makha Ndao, the Coordinator of ADEA-WGEMPS congratulated the Government of Swaziland and the Ministry of Education in particular for adopting this initiative. He highlighted the importance of putting a focus on the data collection system and analysis to ensure Swaziland has in place a lasting, cost-effective and sustainable solution on the teacher and learner attendance. Mr. Ndao concluded by reiterating that teachers are the driving force for better quality of education at all levels, a fact reinforced during the ADEA 2017 Triennale held in Senegal from 14th to 17th March 2017.
Mr. Patrick Muir, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education and Training, Swaziland T. +26824043100; email@example.com
Mr. Makha Ndao, Coordinator, ADEA WGEMPS, T. +2634776775-9; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communications Officer, ADEA, T. +225 2026 4261, email@example.com
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue, composed of all the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. Established in 1988 at the instigation of the World Bank Group, it has evolved into a pan-African institution based within the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). Since its inception, it has acted on processes that have had a profound impact on policy-making in Africa through evidence-based policy dialogue, capacity building, advocacy and networking. ADEA’s work has expanded to focus more on the development of skills and competencies across all the education sub-sectors. It envisions a “high quality African education and training system that is geared towards the promotion of critical knowledge and skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa”.