The Power of data: enhancing transparency in the education sector in Sierra Leone
The bloody conflict that ravaged Sierra Leone until 2002 devastated the country's infrastructure, including its schools. Although the post-conflict period ended officially in 2006, a lack of accurate, reliable and timely data has resulted in poor monitoring and corrupt practices. Record-keeping at school level is a particularly problematic area. The system records teachers who do not physically exist, teachers that do not teach ('ghost teachers'), and teachers receiving salaries from several schools. In mid-2006, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) placed two experts in the Planning Directorate of the Education Ministry in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, to set up an Education Management Information System (EMIS). This U4 Brief explores the features of such a system and the benefits of introducing it to support efforts to curb different forms of malpractice in the education sector.