Over the last few years the Western Cape Education Department has been on a concerted drive to digitize its reporting systems. This focus has seen the development of the electronic School Improvement Plan (SIP), an e-action plan, the School Improvement Monitoring Tool (SIM) and most recently, the E-Term Performance Instrument (TP). Combined, these tools allow all levels in the provincial education system to mine massive levels of data around each school, its foci and progress towards lifting learner outcomes.
The Term Performance Instrument, the latest rendition, allows one to extract rich data around the learner outcomes across a District, its various circuits, individual schools, a Phase and a Grade. The databanks can further give us detailed insight into the scores of learners in each subject, across each learner achievement code. The below listed tables illustrate the points made above:
TABLE 1: A snapshot that provides District Officials an overview of the Learner Achievement Codes in Grade 1 for Home Language in Circuit 1 of Cape Winelands District (CW). This view can be expanded to drill into each circuit in the District.
So, how do all these details help us lift learner achievement outcomes?
A few advantages are:
- All role-players have immediate overviews of each school, group of schools in Circuits and across Education Districts. Senior managers gain real-time insight into the progress towards academic targets as contained in district and school improvement plans.
- School management and district officials can engage each subject, each code, in each Grade and Phase, across each school, in detail.
- The statistics gives the system traction to drill into the minute detail of a subject, which ultimately allows one to look at each learner in a subject and by extension, across the various subjects in a class, Grade and Phase.
- SMTs and District Officials are able to engage the academic gaps in the assessments, how many learners did poorly or well in an area of work and address any issues that need consolidation, augmentation or extension.
- Learners who have distressing results can be shown, per subject, how to lift their results over the remainder of the academic year and achieve success.
- The data further allows intervention plans to be augmented, supplemented or complimented by the work of specialists or outside stakeholder intervention.
- School based support can be honed to address the needs of each school and by extension, each learner. And this, ultimately, is why we all exist as district and provincial services in support of the children of the Western Cape and South Africa.
*The name of each school has been hidden