Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora, has launched a schools management software system to improve the administration of schools, with more than 6 000 institutions expected to be connected by the end of this year.
Dr Dokora said the system, EduMaster, was a comprehensive programme to ensure effective data collection and improve efficiency and quality education in the country’s schools.
“This is a comprehensive software which makes it easier to manage information in a very effective manner. Its flexibility allows its use in any school setting and environment and allows for growth and complexity of the school as a social institution.
“The actions we’re taking today are critical steps towards ensuring increased uptake and usage of ICTs. By the end of the year, 6 300 schools will be connected to this programme. The EduMaster can be used to effectively manage enrolments, transfers, class allocations among other processes in our schools,” said Dr Dokora during the launch of the system in Bulawayo last Friday.
He said ICTs are regarded by Government as a game changer to ensure development and economic growth in the country.
“Government is keen to improve general administration, governance as well as performance management. Already, the use of swipe machines in our schools has improved transparency and management of scarce resources. That’s what we need. We need to unleash as much software as we can in our schools.
“We want the education sector not to be left behind in integrating new technologies to improve the quality of teaching and learning. The introduction of ICT management solutions in the education sector has helped to improve efficiency and quality education through provision of accurate data.
“The adoption of schools management systems by some of our schools is a noble idea. I certainly applaud this and I hope there will be more software companies in the market which will improve the administration of all aspects of the school system,” said Dr Dokora.
These systems, he added, have ensured interventions which have provided learners with the technological experience necessary to participate in the global economy.
“At administrative level, ICTs have made education systems more efficient by helping administrators and teachers streamline routine tasks and improve assessment and data collection which in return has improved the culture of learning.
“This is essential to ensure diffusion of ICTs in all areas of the education system and that will positively impact on the economy,” said Dr Dokora.
He said Government will remain committed to ensuring that it drives initiatives that are that incorporate everyone and not leave anyone behind.
“This is the reason why we’ve been establishing partnerships with various stakeholders and inviting private companies to come on board and be players in the education sector.
“The participation by the private sector in developing innovative ICT software and hardware solutions for management is commendable,” Dr Dokora said.