Digital profile for every student
Centralised islandwide database in the pipeline
Data of 3.7 million students already collected
By Hiranyada Dewasiri
Information on all school students in Sri Lanka is to be uploaded to a centralised digital database at the Ministry of Education, called the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), through the creation of individual student profiles.
Commissioner of School Examination Evaluation Pushpa Wijesooriya told The Morning on Tuesday (5) that all information of a student – including their examination results and other marks, progress evaluations, co-curricular activities, and any medical conditions – would be included in the profile, staring from their entry to school.
“It will be like a school record book,” she said, adding that the NEMIS is still in the data collection stage.
Secretary to the Ministry of Education Prof. Kapila Perera told The Morning that data of about 3.7 million students was collected as at 5 January.
“These profiles have not been launched yet,” he said.
Speaking about the modernisation and digitisation of the Department of Examinations, Wijesooriya said that students, teachers, principals, and parents would be able to access data in these profiles. She claimed that this in turn would increase convenience and accessibility to information a student would need when they leave school, whilst the system would allow for students, teachers, and parents to keep track of the student’s progress.
She added that a unique student identity number will be issued to each student that could be used as a registration number for the Grade Five Scholarship examination as well as the GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) and Advanced Level (A/L) examinations.
“In the existing system, students are given different index numbers for each of these exams. Having a common number for everything would be convenient for students,” Wijesooriya pointed out.
The current record maintenance system is paper-based and data is stored in various places in various forms, including different types of documents. A shift to an online system is expected to result in the centralisation of all student information from these varied sources.
However, any privacy-related complications that may arise would have to be looked into by the relevant authorities behind the formulation of this database.