Ministry Exposes NEMIS Hiccups Seeks New Data System For Learners
The government could spend millions of shillings to create a new data system to capture information about learners under the new education curriculum.
It was discovered that the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), as it is currently designed, is incapable of collecting accurate data for students and educational institutions.
In a presentation to MPs, State Department for Curriculum Reforms PS Fatuma Chege poked holes in the NEMIS system, claiming that ‘it has issues.’
“I found issues being raised about NEMIS when I joined the ministry… But we need a new database for our function of monitoring and evaluating learners across the entire education system,” said Chege.
The PS was speaking last week when she led a delegation of top officials from her office to the National Assembly Education Committee, which was chaired by Florence Mutua.
Chege did not say how much the new system would cost, but she did mention a Sh572 million shortfall to fund a variety of activities in her office.
“Our funding request was raised to Sh911.90 million. This leaves us with a deficit of Sh572.60 million,” said Chege.
The advancement provides insight into the cost of Competency-Based Curriculum under the 2-6-3-3-3 education system.
Chege listed six major challenges her department is facing in implementing the new curriculum, one of which is insufficient funding for her office’s activities.
Other hiccups, she claims, are emerging policy concerns that necessitate stronger collaborations with stakeholders such as county governments, sports organizations, and talent development organizations.
Inadequate staffing, a lack of technical capacity for monitoring and evaluating curriculum reforms among education management staff, and general misinformation about curriculum reforms were also cited.
The challenge of uncoordinated data sources, on the other hand, stood out. According to Kezzia Wandera, deputy director of quality assurance and standards, NEMIS only covers primary and secondary education and does not cover pre-primary, tertiary, or university education.
“We would want a one-stop-shop of data from pre-primary, all the way to tertiary and universities. This is how we shall be able to holistically execute the mandate we have been assigned,” said Wandera.
This means that the multi-million-dollar system launched in 2017 during Fred Matiang’i’s tenure as Education Cabinet Secretary may be scrapped and new funds poured into a new system.
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According to the CBC task force report, after completing school-based assessments in Grade 3, each learner should be assigned a tracking number.
As per the report, the number will be used to track learners’ progress as they advance through the educational levels.
“This unique number will be used throughout the learners academic life and will be used to track their performance,” said Chege.
Interestingly, when NEMIS was first introduced in 2017, it was marketed as the ultimate one-stop-shop for all learner data.