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Link It, Open It, Use It: Changing How Education Data Are Used to Generate Ideas

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Link It, Open It, Use It: Changing How Education Data Are Used to Generate Ideas

16th September 2020

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Data-driven decision-making is in the spotlight in 2020, with the public expecting data to guide government choices during ongoing emergencies, including COVID-19. Within education systems, leaders want to know what the data can tell them about when to reopen schools, how to prevent learning loss, how to gauge dropout risk, how to encourage re-enrolment, where to deploy teachers to manage class sizes, and how to meet the needs of students when they return to schools.

In response, countries have scrambled to setup systems that track health and economic indicators and monitor equity and mobility issues that may have been caused by government action. Yet as ministries of education plan their recovery, many rely on data systems which fail to provide the information needed to target attention; and as planners seek to learn from past emergencies in similar contexts, they are finding that public data on basic indicators like re-enrolment and teacher supply do not exist. Beyond urgent needs, our current crisis is drawing attention to long-standing flaws in education data systems.

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