Parents will now be able to initiate the transfer of their children from one school to another online, once the revamped National Educational Management Information System (Nemis) becomes operational.
Parents will also access real-time information on their children’s performance in the summative assessments integrated with the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) system.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha revealed on Monday that the system had undergone re-engineering to make it more user-friendly and “one central source of truth when it comes to education data”.
Further, applications for bursaries and scholarships will henceforth be made on the website. Prof Magoha said some of the loopholes that also saw unscrupulous officials and school heads steal money from the government have been sealed.
He was speaking when he launched the re-engineered Nemis at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“For government to benefit from data, it must be virgin, reliable and verifiable. The Ministry of Education deals with lives and those lives cannot be statistics,” Prof Magoha said.
The revamped Nemis will be piloted from Monday next week up to the end of the 2022 academic year in November.
The pilot phase will then be reviewed, followed by capacity building of Ministry of Education staff and headteachers and principals.
The system has also been integrated with those of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), KICD and the National Hospital Insurance Fund.
Nemis was introduced in 2017 as a web-based data management tool, to give up-to-date information on education.
“Learner attendance, a significant feature under the competency-based curriculum (CBC), will now be available on the Nemis, to assist class teachers in managing this educational process. Parents will also be able to have a view of this process and monitor their child’s attendance. With integration with the Knec system, management of learner performance will be a real-time process, giving parents a correct reflection of their children’s results at any one time,” Prof Magoha said.
The CS said that the revamping of Nemis has been going on for the past three years. The process involved a clean-up of the existing data to produce what he termed “virgin data”.
In 2020, he revealed that corrupt school heads collude with ministry officials to inflate learners’ enrolment in order to steal funds. At the time, he put the figure of the ‘ghost’ learners at about 530,000.
The anomaly was unmasked by the task force on implementation of CBC that collected data from all learning institutions in the country.
“Due diligence identified an inflation of numbers of learners from 8.47 million to nine million. The shortfall of 529,997 learners has led to the saving of Sh752,594,740 annually,” Prof Magoha said at the time.
An audit of ministry data also revealed that capitation funds had been sent to non-existent schools which had been entered onto Nemis by corrupt ministry officials.
The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has also criticised the ministry for lack of transparency of the system for audit purposes.
“Nemis will be much safer and no sniffing dogs will be able to enter (it) and do anything funny … The next government will find it easy to account for its money,” Prof Magoha said.
He challenged his successor at the ministry to scale up the fight against corruption and uphold integrity.
“We are coming to a stage where nobody will claim we took money to a school that doesn’t exist or to a learner who doesn’t exist,” said Dr Julius Jwan the principal secretary for Basic Education.
Unlike before, the Nemis will also be used to monitor learners in private schools and how they move across learning institutions.
The ministry has procured and installed more robust servers to replace the slow ones, especially during admission of learners to secondary school. The server infrastructure has also been upgraded.