Decision-makers and high-level education officials from seven countries in the region are gathering in Sydney, Australia for the start of the My School study visit. This event, organized by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Agency (ACARA) and the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), will focus on how to improve transparency and accountability in schools in the Asia-Pacific region through the use of data.
Introduced to Australia eight years ago, the My School initiative provides educators, parents and the community important information about each Australian school in a readily accessible and shareable format. It also contains data on each school’s student profiles, enrolment figures, attendance rates, performance, and funding levels and sources.
During this study visit, representatives from ministries of education, civil society organizations and parent-teacher associations will draw on the lessons learned from the My School project, and reflect on the limits of the initiative. They will discuss how My School can be used as a case-study that provides useful comparisons and insights to their own initiatives back home, while taking the potentially adverse effects of public access to information into account. The high-level participants are representing Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Nepal.
Participants are arriving in Australia well-prepared with examples from their own countries on current initiatives, their impact, and their audiences. They will compare the limitations and successes of these projects, and the limits imposed in each country on data collection and sharing practices.
School visits and feedback discussions
These discussions will be enriched by presentations from the Australian authorities and other stakeholders of the My School initiative, including parent associations and media. There will also be specific school visits to give participants an understanding of the operation and limits of My School from a front-end user perspective. Towards the end of the study visit, country teams will participate in open discussion sessions to share their own experiences with the group about what lessons they have drawn.
This visit will contribute to better understanding of open education data projects in the region. It also aims to aid participants in the formulation and successful implementation of their own open education data initiatives. Through these exchanges there will be an increased dialogue between stakeholders as a foundation for regional networking and cooperation.