Why should historical data records be maintained?

Historical records help in several ways. First and foremost, it can help show progress (or lack thereof) over time. Targets are usually set for education systems, such as enrolling every child, achieving an NER of 100, and so on. Data over time can also show progress towards these targets.

Historical data are crucial in understanding which challenges have been resolved and to what extent, thereby informing future priorities. If carefully analysed, it can highlight which programmes and interventions have proven successful over time, allowing for a change in the approach used, or a change in goals as well.

Therefore, historical data can assist short, medium, and long term planning as well as the allocation of scarce resources based on those plans.