Knowing our Learners (Day 23) [sic]by Rey Laguda
(This is the 25th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)
The Learner Information System (LIS) is intended to be a registry of all formal and non-formal learners in basic education. It contains basic information but also where or what program they are enrolled in for a given school year. The objectives of this registry are to know who our learners are, where they are, who fall in and out of the system so that we can properly be guided in crafting of policies and programs to achieve our education outcomes of providing quality education for all.
There is an ongoing (much needed and long overdue) discourse on the need for a National Identification System. The Department has gone ahead with providing unique Learner Reference Numbers (LRN) for all its learners. It was a tall order to get this started. With almost 21 million learners in 2012, we needed to get teachers and advisers to encode their students basic details. We started with an initial 14 data elements for every student. To say that there were birth pains is a huge understatement. But it is something we had to go through and I salute every person who put in the hours and the effort to make this happen.
Now, we are able to use the data on enrollment as basis for budgeting. The data generated is also now being used to forecast and plan for programs including for senior high school. In the process, the Department is also able to track students who move from one place to another and to understand the implications of such movement including transferring records for these learners. There are some natural corrections of enrollment figures happening as we continue this system on a sustained basis. It is a cleaning up process for data. In the coming school year, enrollment from private schools will also be encoded into the system.
An online community of more than 93,000 DepEd personnel are currently on Facebook discussing concerns and sharing experiences. More importantly, they are resolving issues as much as possible among themselves.
The LIS must continue to be used as a decision making tool even by managers and leaders in the field. There are opportunities to provide data to the public at large in order to generate more analysis and usage together with data from other sources.