Statistics Botswana (SB) and Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 10th September 2019 to strengthen collaboration and promote effective and efficient production and use of official statistics relating to Basic Education. The signing was spearheaded by Statistics Botswana Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni and MoBE Permanent Secretary Ms Bridget John.
The MoU also aims to strengthen cooperation of both entities in areas of;
•Production and provision of quality and timely basic education statistics
•Collaboration in interfacing management information system to promote seamless sharing of education data and statistics, innovative data processing, dissemination
•Statistical capacity building; and
•General development and implementation of the basic education sector statistic plans or strategies.
Giving his statement at the signing ceremony, Statistics Botswana Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni said the MoU signed builds to the development and maintenance of an effectively coordinated Education Statistical System in line with the Botswana Strategy for the Development of Statistics (BSDS), of which the Ministry is a key stakeholder.
“Through this collaboration, the parties have a dual role of producing and disseminating quality basic education statistics and coordinating and monitoring the sector statistical system”, noted Dr Mguni.
He pointed out that it is crucial for both organizations to strengthen collaboration so as to meet the ever increasing demand for data in many areas including informing and tracking national, regional and international development frameworks such as NDP11 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include Goal 4 ‘Quality Education’.
SG further stated that improved education data and statistics will be key to inform decisions on national strategies on re-shaping the future of education to meet the demands of the 4th Industrial revolution such as growth in artificial intelligence and requirements for re-skilling workforce.
However, Dr Mguni decried lack of or weak follow up in terms of MoU implementation, thus imploring the work teams on both sides to have the relevant implementation structures put in place as soon as possible to enable implementation without much passage of time.
For her part, MoBE Permanent Secretary Ms Bridget John said the signing of the MoU has come at an opportune time as it will give impetus to the collection and management of quality data and statistics to facilitate the transformation of education with a view to positioning Botswana as a knowledge economy.
She said the Ministry’s participation in the Joint Working Committee and Sub-committees to facilitate the effective implementation of the MoU is guaranteed.
“This should allow the two parties to close all the gaps and avail relevant statistics on time for appropriate intervention to promote quality education as espoused in the ETSSP.
She further high lightened that the Ministry is in the process of procuring a National Education Management Information System which shows the Ministry’s commitment to improved planning and management of education to address the challenges currently being experienced relating to quality and relevance, learner performance, stakeholder engagement, optimal resource allocation, aging infrastructure, access and retention, among others.
She also reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to the provision of timely and quality policies and decision making in the quest to transform education and achieve the aspirations of vision 2036 and SDG’s.
In her closing remarks, Deputy Statistician General Ms Malebogo Kerekang said for years both organization have worked jointly in the production of basic education statistics reports and stats briefs though guidance provided by SB’s officers attached to the Ministry.
“The signing is therefore the right action to formalize our partnership and enhance our dialogue on the joint production and dissemination of quality official education statistics as well as welfare of SB officers attached in the Ministry.
She noted that the MoU signed was not adequate on its own, hence the development and implementation of an action plan for the MoU activities will be the most critical deliverable of the MoU itself.
She also said that work teams should make it a point that they report back to leadership on the achievement made through the partnership.