Presentation of a new information system for collection, storage, management and use of educational data – AIСOM (Kyiv, July 19, 2019)
On July 19, 2019, a press briefing «How to make the Ukrainian school competitive in the world: implementing a new education management information system» was held at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, where a new fully automated online system for collection, storage, management and use of educational data – Automated Information Complex of Educational Management (hereinafter AIСOM) was presented. This education management information system was developed within the World Bank grant for the Project «Strengthening Evidence-Based Policymaking with Education Statistics and Analysis» and is implemented by the State Scientific Institution «Institute of Educational Analytics» (hereinafter SSI «IEA») with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The main speakers of the event were: Yurii Kononenko – Head of the Main Department of General Secondary and Preschool Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Sergiy Londar – Director of the SSI «IEA», Professor, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Andrii Lytvynchuk – Deputy Director of the SSI «IEA», Ph.D. in Economics, Vasyl Povoroznyk – an expert on economic issues of the Center for Social and Economic Research CASE Ukraine, Ph.D. in Economics, Olena Bondarenko – co-chair of NGO «Parents of SOS». The event was moderated by Mykola Malukha – communication consultant of the SSI «IEA».
In his introductory remarks, Yurii Kononenko pointed out that our education system is quite bureaucratized. In fact, the governing bodies, which operate under the old principles of the administrative-command system, sometimes collect a lot of information that is not used in the future. For the purpose of effective distribution of funds provided by the state, it is necessary to have accurate information, for example, when speaking about school buses purchasing for rural areas or informatization of institutions – Yurii Kononenko emphasizes.
Continuing this topic, Sergiy Londar through the prism of the education system components, namely institutional (legislative support), organizational (management structure) and instrumental, stressed the relevance and expediency of introducing modern information technologies into the process of educational information monitoring. The development of a new education management information system AICOM is caused by a number of management needs, among which the priority one is the implementation of key principles of educational reform in Ukraine. That is improving the quality of educational process, updating the content of education and forming the competencies necessary for successful person’s self-realization in the society, bringing the Ukrainian education system in line with international standards, etc.
In view of this, in 2016 the information and telecommunication system «State Information System of Education» (DISO) was put into pilot operation for the purpose of obtaining reliable and representative statistical educational information (more detailed information on DISO is available on the official website: https://diso.gov.ua). However, a number of limitations were identified while operating this system. For example, DISO requires using special software for one computer at each school, there is no effective tracking system for determining the school performance, as well as productivity of pedagogical staff and students in real-time, local authorities do not have an in-depth analysis of educational information and cannot use it during the process of decision-making, just a small share of parents can use DISO when choosing a school for their children, etc. Hence today, DISO does not have the capacity to provide a comprehensive assessment of the real state and promising trends in the education sector, in particular towards financial support issues. Considering the previous experience, proposals and suggestions of the stakeholders, it was decided to modernize the prior education management information system and to create the newest automated educational information monitoring tool.
Therefore, AICOM is an online system for collecting, storing, managing and using data in the field of education, which allows making sound and effective managerial decisions. This system generates statistics within the education system and monitors it through a multifaceted structure, in particular, technological and institutional mechanisms for collection, processing and dissemination of data. Thus, AICOM’s strategic goal is to provide information support for managerial decision-making in order to improve the education quality, the rational use of resources and the monitor of cost-effectiveness, as well as to raise the competitiveness of schools in general.
Andrii Lytvynchuk demonstrated the performance features and technical capabilities of AICOM, in particular, drew attention on the availability of a more intuitive and convenient user friendly web portal interface. In comparison to DISO, AICOM has a great number of advantages. For example, AICOM can collect significantly variable volume of data, forms of data collection may be easily changed, data can be transferred to a central database from any computer connected to the Internet, the presence of an open data portal enables view and process data in the form of informative charts and reports for all concerned in Ukraine’s general secondary education issues. In addition, an essential value of AICOM is the availability of BI (Business Intelligence) – an analytical module for working with statistical reporting (including such reporting on students and pedagogical staff).
In her turn, Olena Bondarenko supported the initiative of SSI «IEA» to implement AICOM as a transparent state instrument for data collection and its appropriate protection in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, including personal data storage (information about children).
The pilot testing of AICOM is scheduled for six months (July-December 2019) and will then be made available to a wide range of stakeholders (parents, educators, teachers, educational managers, researchers). Such countries as Lithuania and Moldova use similar systems which have already proven to be an effective and powerful tool for educational management and education system improvement. It is important to note that more than 30 thousands of general secondary and pre-school institutions will be connected to AICOM.
The event also hosted the presentation of another project – an online school budget simulator. In his speech, Vasyl Povoroznyk noted that this tool partly echoes, and partly supplements AICOM and is designed primarily to present information on the school budget expenditures in a more convenient form, as well as to share information on the directions and amounts of school funds usage with students’ parents, school administration, volunteers and all stakeholders. On the example of the pilot school of Tsarichansk united territorial community (Dnipropetrovsk region), the operational features of the online school budget simulator were presented.
At the end of the press briefing «How to make the Ukrainian school competitive in the world: implementing a new education management information system» there was a discussion of presented materials. In this regard, the speakers made closing remarks and invited all concerned to participate in the process of improving the new information system for the collection, storage, management and use of educational data – AICOM.
Sergiy Londar «АІCОМ – a powerful tool for education improvement»
Video of the press briefing «How to make the Ukrainian school competitive in the world: implementing a new education management information system»
Photo from Ukrainian Crisis Media Center