MBSSE Released Data Dictionary/Library of Education
By: Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
A dictionary of terms and concepts is a prerequisite for the effective functioning of any information system. It provides a standard for the terms and concepts used by an organisation in its information collection and reporting processes. This dictionary seeks to standardise terms and concepts that are commonly used in the education sector in Sierra Leone, especially in its education management information system (EMIS) processes. Consequently, many of the definitions provided reflect the EMIS environment. The dictionary clarifies the language used by officials working in the EMIS environment; it aims to harmonise different terms currently used to describe the same concept. The dictionary is designed to be both a technical and practical tool.
On the technical side, terms are provided that will assist in the design of databases, the development of survey instruments, data analysis and report writing. Systems designers are expected to use the dictionary to gain an idea of the logic of the education system, and to ensure that standards are followed as closely as possible. Deviations are permissible, but within limits, and only in instances where they are necessary for the quality of the system being developed. Designers of education performance matrixes are to use this dictionary to refine the meanings of indicators and results that are measured by EMIS. Designers of electronic school management systems or sector tools are encouraged to use the dictionary to standardise their products and services.
The dictionary is to also serve a larger audience. Programme managers at both national and regional levels can draw on the dictionary to clarify the meanings of terms they come across as part of their work. The dictionary will be particularly beneficial to programme managers who undertake surveys of their own, especially in the development of questionnaires and the analysis of data. Information users both within and outside the ministries of education will better understand and interpret the information they encounter. Researchers will be able to engage with data obtained from the ministries in an informed manner.
The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) intends to undertake an extensive process of consultation in order to achieve a broad level of consensus on the definitions employed in this dictionary. A key lead in this regard will be Statistics Sierra Leone who is mandated to formulate quality criteria and establish standards, classifications and procedures for statistics. Given the legacy of EMIS supporting tertiary and higher education, as well as teacher services, both the Ministry of Tertiary and Higher Education (MTHE) as well as the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) will play key roles in defining the concepts under discussion. Indicators and results mentioned in various frameworks and tools such as the programme results matrix for the implementation plan of the Sierra Leone FQSE programme and the annual school census questionnaires will be considered in the compilation of concepts for this dictionary