The Ministry of Education together with the office of the Auditor General has kicked a process to tackle embezzlement of school funds by rogue headteachers and principals.
The office of the Auditor General is conducting an audit of all public schools National Education Management Information Systems (NEMIS) in all the 47 counties which started on August 30, 2022 in the ongoing school audit exercise by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.
This is revealed in the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Circular released on August 29, 2022 by the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education Dr. Julius Jwan to all County Directors of Education (CDE).
In what is clearly a crackdown on corrupt practices within public schools, the Auditor General is demanding to look at all books of accounts from the public institutions and County Directors have been instructed to avail them to facilitate the process.
Three months ago the Auditor General had unearthed scandals in the Ministry of Education that led loss off millions of shiilings of taxpayers money.
According to the audit report at least 130 million shillings were lost in January and March when disbursements were made to schools due to non-existent learners in public schools.
However according to recent changes made on the Nemis heads of public primary and secondary schools will no longer change enrolment data in their institutions to get higher capitation allocation according to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.
While unveiling an improved version of the National Education Management System (Nemis), Prof Magoha added that the new system would allow parents to monitor their children’s learning progress.
Magoha said the upgraded system would ease data retrieval for timely decision-making and guarantee data reliability for all stakeholders.
“The system provides accurate data and is more attuned to Ministry of Education end-users. It will consolidate and improve the capabilities the system has had over the years the ministry has been using it to make decisions,” Magoha said.
This means that schools will no longer have ghost learners as the new system will clean up students data in public institutions.
In 2019, while addressing a Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) conference in Mombasa, Paul Kibet, director of secondary and tertiary education, said many schools missed out on government funds.
He cited head teachers’ inability to use the system meant to help manage public institutions.
This caused a crisis in schools as heads failed to use Nemis to provide details of students, which, among other things, determines how much each school should get.
“Many schools have received less funds because details of students were not captured in the system to allow for release of capitation grants,” said Kibet.
Kessha chairman Kahi Indimuli said that no money had been disbursed to school accounts by the government through Education ministry, terming it a Nemis error.
“Nemis wrongly uploaded data prematurely since the ministry was not done with the process of disbursement,” said Indimuli.
He said the Principal Secretary for Basic Education had not signed the disbursement hence no funds had been disbursed or reversed.
State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms Principal Secretary Fatuma Chege confirmed to Members of Parliament that Nemis needed to be upgraded.
“I found issues being raised about Nemis when I joined the ministry. We need a new database for our function of monitoring and evaluating learners across the entire education system,” said Chege.
Magoha assured users of inclusivity and data safety, adding that the system would ensure more direct access to data through the implementation of a decentralised approach to data accessibility.
Magoha said that parents will also be able to monitor their children’s performance remotely from the comfort of their living room or office.
He said Nemis would ease the transfer of learners from one institution to another.
SUMMARY ON WHAT NEW NEMIS WILL DO
Heads of public primary and secondary schools will no longer change enrolment data in their institutions to get higher capitation allocation.
The new system would allow parents to monitor their children’s learning progress.
The upgraded system would ease data retrieval for timely decision-making and guarantee data reliability for all stakeholders.
Schools will no longer have ghost learners as the new system will clean up students data in public institutions.