For the better part of the past year, 2017, the Ministry od Education was testing an online system in the management of education. The exercise was carried out in about 600 learning institutions, and it appears that that the portal is ready for nationwide rollout.
Dubbed the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), the platform has been deployed to aid digital registration of all primary and secondary school students. The process will be managed by head teachers in the same institutions, and a directive from the Ministry in charge dictates a February 20 deadline.
It is worth noting that the initiative was conceptualized to manage the inconsistencies of Kenya’s large and complex education sector that serves millions of students in about 120,000 learning institutions. This is a system that is subject to multiple hurdles, as well as access disparities, to mention a few.
Thanks to a US$88.4 million grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the program, which is entirely developed by local talent, has progressed to this stage.
Registered students will have unique identification numbers that will track their performance from primary school, high school and tertiary levels. The tracking is important because it will help the government formulate better plans and policies to heighten offerings of the education sector.
At the same time, NEMIS has portal for teachers and institutions, which is said to help the deployment of additional manpower and facilities as per their needs.
Admittedly, a vast amount of information will be collected from NEMIS, which include but not limited to names of students/teachers/institutions, age, parents’ information and household details of students. This information will then be used to keep track of performance and determining core factors that undermine gainful progress.
According to The Standard, the initiative will also leverage its features to address transparency, accountability and efficiency issues in schools.
While the program appears to embrace the uptake of digital solutions in addressing conventional shortcomings that have plagued the education sector especially in regard to keeping track of students’ progress, it fails to demonstrate a solid plan for effective registrations in remote parts of the country. Notably, this is a continual program that will need constant updates, which means institutions will robust connectivity solutions to keep up, with a rather short working window.