Role of information systems in the management of education data:The case of Ministry of Education Headquarters, Kenya.
Akong'o, Paul O
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The purpose of this study was to establish the role of Information Systems in the management of education data at the Ministry of Education headquarters, where concerted efforts were made to help unravel how Information Systems - through its subsystems, comprised of Computer systems, Network Infrastructure, Software programs, Information System users and Policy frameworks - contribute to effective Data Capture, Storage and Analysis of Information towards efficient service delivery. The study Objectives were; to determine the role of Information Communications Technology (lCT) Infrastructure as a component of Information Systems in the Management of Education Data, to examine the roles played by the Software Programs as a component of Information Systems in the Management of Education Data, to assess the role of System Users as a component of Information Systems in the Management of Education Data and to evaluate the roles played by Policy Frameworks as a component of Information Systems in the management of Education Data at Ministry of Education Headquarters. Using Survey, Observation and Document Review as methods of data collection, questionnaires and interviews were administered to the sample of 58 officers comprised of Data Capture officers, Data Managers and Education Officers drawn from the target population of 916 Ministry of Education Headquarters staffs. The completed questionnaires were then coded and captured into the computer system using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The data which was finally presented in tables had its Analysis based on individual research questions using the appropriate statistical tests. Qualitative and quantitative data gathered was coded and eventually analyzed using descriptive statistical measures including frequencies, percentages, tables, graphs, figures, means and standard deviations. Report findings indicated that the Ministry headquarters was relatively furnished with ICT infrastructure, the latest Software Programs, ICT skilled information System Users and a robust Information Policy framework. Data processing and Access to data and services had significantly improved, with the posting of Education data on the website and relaying of schools' national examination results via the Mobile handsets' messaging systems. In order to fully bridge the digital divide between the Ministry of Education and the public, it was thus recommended that additional ICT Infrastructure and sustainable capacity building initiatives be availed to all the field officers so that information/data transfers may take effect with quality and speed. This, the researcher considered, an enabler to enhanced efficiencies, standards, sound planning and decision making.