ApexHi Charitable Trust
August 2012 – July 2013
ApexHi Charitable Trust partnered with the PMDP Consortium to pilot the use of cell phones to conduct ‘real-time’ reporting of school key performance indicators on a daily and monthly basis.
Key Indicators reported on included: Attendance of learners & educators, Safety Incidents at school and % Curriculum Coverage.
The Hypothesis for this pilot/study was:
“The availability of up-to-date school data (KPIs) at school and Circuit level results in pro-active management practices and positively influences the schools’ results in terms of, for example, learner & educator attendance, % curriculum coverage, nutrition scheme, LTSM delivery, etc”.
Schools have been able to improve both learner and educator attendance, as well as relationships between the staff and the school and the SGBs. The Circuit Managers have thoroughly enjoyed having real-time data arriving on their lap-tops on the progress of their schools daily.
On 18 September 2013 a project closing meeting was held with participating principals, Circuit Managers as well as KZNDoE Teacher Development representative. During this meeting, principals gave their testimonies as to the changes that have emerged at their schools as a result of using real-time data to manage and some of the comments are as follows:
• “Monitoring teacher attendance has worked a lot for me. Monitoring of teacher attendance is no longer principal’s responsibility. Accountability in my school has improved”
• “Reporting of curriculum coverage has been very helpful. The Cell phone reporting forces you to go and get the correct data”
• “LTSM delivery reporting has helped to ensure we follow up as you are uncomfortable reporting the same status and you cannot lie, as the Circuit Manager may come and check anytime”
• “It has improved the timeous marking of Attendance Registers daily as we have to report on it daily”
• “We are compelled to have an SMT meeting so that I get a report on curriculum coverage to capture on the Cell phone, otherwise I will not have information to report. That has helped us a lot.”
ApexHi Charitable Trust funding also allowed the Consortium to introduce these schools to Visual Management, where the key indicators were displayed visually on a board in the principal’s office where he/she meets with the SMT to discuss how the school is doing. A letter from one of the participating principals regarding this pilot follows:
“On the 3rd of June 2013, our school had a visit from a provincial team led by SGM Mr Mosuwe. The reason for the visit was poor performance on NSC results in 2012.
The team was very impressed with the visual measurement board. As they asked questions on learner and educator absenteeism, I was reading from the board and also on curriculum coverage I had every detail on my fingertips.
At the beginning they did not understand as to where I was getting my data from as I was seated right across them. The team of subject advisors went to check on individual educators and learners work, it tallied with the Visual Management Board.
Dr Singh who was also part of the team highly recommended my management and administrative skills, this is all attributed to PMDP programme and ApexHi Charitable Trust.
A day that should have been the worse day of my position as the principal turned out to be fine.
I am very confident that my learners will fare well in this year’s NSC results as we continue implementing PMDP management practices in the school.” Principal, S Mbhele