By Ndey Sowe
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in partnership with the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo, started a five-day international conference and training program in The Gambia on Monday 25 April 2022.
The conference is geared towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education) which calls for the use of data to guide improvement in learning outcomes and equitable access to education.
In this regard, District Health Information Software for Education (DHIS2) extends the DHIS2 software platform from health to the education sector for the collection, analysis, visualisation and use of individual and aggregated data from institutions of learning.
The conference brought together different organizational representatives, ministries and experts around the globe to provide them the opportunity to enter into deeper discussions around strengthening the EMIS Data, together with the participation of colleagues from IPED, ADEA, UNESCO UIS and the GPE.
Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MoBSE who also chaired the convergence, gave a brief explanation of what is expected to be achieved from the five-day conference.
Louis Moses Mendy, Permanent Secretary MoBSE, in his welcome remarks said the following:
“I am overwhelmed with the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the participants in this conference. This conference will avail participants the opportunity to learn from each other and explore networks in global South-South Cooperation. I therefore urge you to interact and participate as actively as possible, during this week of best practice sharing.”
For his part, Mod Secka, Permanent Secretary MoHERST, emphasised that the importance of data and statistics in decision making processes is inestimable, adding that he is thrilled to be associated with such an important conference and the opportunity to learn from the experts present.
The Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Claudiana A. Cole, said she understands that DHIS2 Academy is the first of its kind for the education sector, and that the Banjul Conference emerged from relations forged from the Data Round Table of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
She recognises the opportunities the programme will provide for participants, adding: “Recognising the opportunities the University of Oslo and its HISPS West Africa partners are providing to motivate and promote a more holistic institutional framework by encouraging and leveraging institutional capacities and good practices, to find a lasting solution to the data challenge, driven by multi-stakeholder approach.”
The Basic Education Minister also said she believes that people will come and go, but the systems remain, adding sustainability of robust data systems relies on the ecosystem which is demonstrated in this gathering.