Information Support System for Education Planning (ISSEP) Tanzania

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Addis Ababa University


The broad objective of the work is strengthening and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of education planning in Tanzania by facilitating access to timely , relevant and reliable information to planners, decision makers, executives, and all those involved in planning and provision of education. For the purpose, the establishment of a supporting information system is proposed, its features elaborated, and a plan for its implementation suggested.The study discusses, to begin with, the role of timely and reliable information in education planning. The justification for such an undertaking has been the inherent information problems in education planning expressed in the reports reviewed in the study. The motivation of the study has been the perception and the experience of benefits accruing from the use of timely and relevant information in any development undertaking.The methodology used by the study takes the form of action research. The tools used include a questionnaire to identify information needs of potential users of the system and another set of questionnaires to collect data for designing databases of profiles of institutions, information systems, education projects, and education experts. Several prototype databases have been developed to demonstrate some of the information products to be generated by the proposed information system. Secondary sources of information, on-site visits and interviews were also used for the purpose. The Information Support System for Education Planning (ISSEP) proposal, the core of the study, outlines the policy underlying the ISSEP establishment, its management structure, functions, and budget considerations. ISSEP will be constituted out of networking of appropriate existing information systems and services, and new information systems that may be established. The National Educational Information Policy and Coordinating Agency (NEIPCA), to be placed as high as possible in the government structure, will consist of three functional components: the Educational Information Network Council (EINC) having a policy making and coordination function, the Executive Directorate, having an executive function, and the Advisory Board with an advisory function. The main ISSEP function will be to strengthen and enhance provision of information services with emphasis on value-added information products. Appropriate information infrastructure components are identified and their development recommended to ensure efficient execution of ISSEP activities. The implementation strategy, relating to the programmes, outputs, activities and inputs of the system is flexible and several objectives can be implemented in parallel. The immediate outputs serve as incentives for further development of the system. The necessary hardware and software requirements are indicated, to be refined at the time of implementation. Several recommendations for further research and government intervention are suggested especially in the development of the information infrastructure, and the environment for establishing the ISSEP network and making it operational. The



Information Science