Records and information management in evidence-based decision-making public schools in South Africa
Records are important assets in the decision-making process and promote transparency and accountability. The successful provision of educational and training services in public schools relies on reliable and authentic records. Thus, evidence-based decision-making can help address the challenges in the basic education sector in public schools. The challenges manifest as weaknesses between the different sectors and departments responsible for early childhood development services and poor quality of school education outcomes in public schools. The said challenges were identified in the National Development Plan 2030 and their resolution can contribute to the achievement of education and training goals. The main purpose of this study was to outline the role played by records and information management in supporting evidence-based decision-making in public schools in South Africa. This study adopted the qualitative research approach and used content analysis to identify challenges hindering national development plan goal achievement in the basic education sector. A content analysis of available literature consisting of policy documents, internet sources, books and journal papers was used to identify and describe the challenges and propose solutions. It is guided by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators’ Generally Accepted Record Keeping Principles as a framework. The study found that poor educational outcomes could be improved through proper records management practices enabling evidence-based decision-making to thrive. The study recommends that governmental bodies in South Africa utilise the power of records and information management to enable goal achievement, with the professional assistance rendered by the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (NARSSA) and provincial archives.