Ministry to replace NEMIS with CBC friendly data system

Ministry to replace NEMIS with CBC friendly data system

The National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) which was introduced in the year 2017 will be replaced due to its inefficiencies.

Ministry of Education officials say the NEMIS system will be abolished because it does not blend well with the new curriculum.

Currently the system only helps the Ministry in knowing the enrollment in schools which helps it in termly fee disbursement in schools.

However according to State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms PS Fatuma Chege the system does not help in linking data with the new education system.

Chege says government will spend millions of shillings to build a fresh data system to capture learners’ details under the new education curriculum.

She said NEMIS as presently designed, cannot capture accurate data for learners and educational institutions.

“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.

As Knec gives assessment number to monitor learners under Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), NEMIS gives different numbers to same learners.

Chege says they want a system that will be able to monitor learners academically from time they join school to university and this is not possible with NEMIS.

Even though Chege did not state how much the new system would cost, she hinted of a Sh572 million gap to fund a number 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 development gives a glimpse into the cost of the new curriculum under the 2-6-3-3-3 education system.

Chege listed six top challenges her department is facing on the implementation of the new curriculum, among them being inadequate funding of the activities in her office.

Other hiccups she said are emergent policy concerns, which necessitate strengthening of collaborations with stakeholders, including county governments, sports and talent development entities.

She also cited inadequate staffing, weak technical capacities for monitoring and evaluation of curriculum reforms among education management staff and general misinformation about curriculum reforms.

What, however, stood out is the challenge on uncoordinated data sources.

Kezzia Wandera, deputy director quality assurance and standards, said NEMIS only aligns itself to primary and secondary education and does not take care of pre-primary, tertiary and 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 system launched in 2017 when Fred Matiang’i was the Education Cabinet Secretary will be abolished and more money pumped into a new system.

According to CBC task force report, each learner should be given a tracking number at Grade 3 after sitting school-based assessments (SBA).

The number, according to the report, will be used to monitor learners progress as they transition in the subsequent education 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 launched in 2017, it was billed as the ultimate one-stop shop for all learners data.

The Ministry of Education has several times attempted to use the NEMIS system for disbursement of Free Primary Education (FPE) bt with little success.

In a circular dated 10th March 2021, the Principal Secretary Education, Julius Jwan, had said Ministry will not use the manual enrollment record of learners which has been in place since 2003 because its prone to errors and that schools should ensure learners are captured on Nemis platform by 30th March.

Jwan said the Directorate of Primary Education intends to change the mode of FPE disbursement to Nemis system with effect from April 2021.

The Principal Secretary further warned school heads that they are solely responsible for the data captured on Nemis.

“Headteachers are responsible for any data regarding their school, this minimises chances of human error and any changes and any changes required are made by the headteacher thus ensuring continous update of data,” said Jwan.

This was the second attempt by the Ministry to change mode of funding schools based on Nemis after a similar attempt failed in 2019.

However this too failed as most primary schools failed to capture their learners on NEMIS on time.

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