to the Development Central Census Data Collection System
January - August 2004
education has long been a priority of governments in Jamaica.
The New Horizons for Primary Schools Project (NHP) in Jamaica
was designed to improve enrollment in and the quality of primary
education. An improved school census data collection system
in the Ministry of Education’s Planning Unit will greatly
compliment the activities of the NHP project.
In 2003, Creative Associates’ software developers began
working with the USAID/Jamaica Mission on the development of
a custom version of the Creative Associates’ GIRO (General
Input and Reporting Online) database development system, which
with very basic hardware, will allow MOEYC to do a variety
of data manipulations not possible with its previous database:
enter and organize education data; search for responses by
keyword and phrase; collect and code data for long surveys
or questionnaires; and prepare user-friendly data reports.
GIRO is completely web-based (for all transactions), requiring
no expenditure in client hardware beyond a computer and an
adequate Internet connection. Adaptation of GIRO also allows
for complete client control of the manipulation and creation
of data-entry forms, as well as the manipulation and creation
of print-ready reports (assuming client familiarity with Crystal
Reports as a report-generating tool).
The system will ultimately be used by Jamaica’s Ministry
of Education, Youth and Culture, and will serve as the central
census data-collection and reporting platform for the Ministry’s
Planning Unit, greatly expanding upon the recently installed
Jamaica School Administrative System, which currently serves
72 primary schools across the six regional offices, covering
primary and secondary schools on the island. The Jamaica Ministry
of Education encompasses 1,000 institutions, 700,000 students,
and 24,000 teaching staff.