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ERIC Number: EJ1159535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
Measures of Learning and Teaching Material Availability and Use in Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Low-Income Countries
Read, Nicholas
European Journal of Education, v52 n4 p523-532 Dec 2017
This article reviews the accuracy and relevance of the national monitoring mechanisms currently used to establish national learning and teaching material (LTM) availability indicators. In many countries, only very basic LTM monitoring requirements are provided. These are not updated regularly and are usually not designed specificially to support effective LTM provision. One of the most disturbing conclusions emerging from recent research is the very widespread lack of investment in the provision of reading books and reading materials for use in schools and the equally widespread lack of usable data on the availability of reading books in relevant languages at any levels in the education systems of most developing countries, particularly in lower primary and pre-school grades. Effective LTM provision requires reliable information on a number of different activities and inputs that must operate efficiently in sequence. This sequence of activities is often referred to as the Book Chain. If one of the links in the chain is dysfunctional, then there is a risk that the whole system will function ineffectively or inefficiently--or both! Most countries aim to collect their EMIS data, including LTM-related data, on a national basis by drawing information from every school and then consolidating the data gathered on a sub-district, district, regional and eventually national basis. The combination of large numbers of schools located in different regions, often with radically different facilities and operational environments, with large numbers of titles supplied in differing quantities based on grade level enrolments and supply assumptions and potentially in different languages, is very difficult to manage on a manual basis with non-specialist managers. Investments in more sophisticated computerised information management systems are recommended to ensure that decisions can be made quickly, based on good information, sound future planning and adequate financial allocations to maintain textbook, teachers' guides and other essential hard copy LTM supplies equitably at target levels for every school and grade level in the country. Although bespoke, computerised information management systems probably represent the way ahead in terms of reliable annual provision of accurate LTM-related data they are expensive and there are immediate changes that can be introduced at low cost which will improve the usefulness of the data collected. In most countries, a review needs to take place to ascertain exactly what data need to be collected, how often, and in what formats different MOE departments require this information. This review should be accompanied by a plan for reducing the duplication of work, district/school administration overhead and data collection methodology.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A