MEST has for the first time in its entire history established a website (http://www.education.gov.sl/)
and developed a staff directory as part of inputs being made to strengthen internal and external communications of the ministry. The website, which features data about schools and children, recent reports, information about the districts, as well as staff directory IS part of a string of initiatives aimed at improving MEST’s internal and external communication capabilities and disseminating critical real-time information to students and parents alike.
“We hope through the website to get greater visibility of MEST and the work that is going on. We do a lot of work at MEST which people are unaware of,” says Dr. Albert Dupigny, Head of Change Unit at the Ministry. “We also hope that through the website we can make available electronic information that many outside the MEST will find useful and will help in understanding more about education in Sierra Leone.” Dr. Dupigny continues, "there’s now a Situation Room, where real live data on what is happening in schools are being processed. “All of this, including the information on various projects and support we receive will be accessible on the website,” says Dr. Dupigny.
The Chief Technology Officer of the unit, Emmanuel Harold Greywoode, says the MEST website has simple features to enable easy navigation, especially for the less technically inclined. “It reflects the various education directorates in the 14 districts of Sierra Leone and publishes educational statistics, census reports, ongoing surveys, procurement transactions among many others,” says Greywoode, adding that the website is a re-enforcement of the open data initiative.
In addition, the good news for students, according to Greywoode, is that the website will eventually capture the issuance of government grants-in-aid and bilateral scholarships forms, “to ease the tension and burden on students (and officials) having to come to the ministry to collect and fill forms.”