The Ministry of Education deployed the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) in January. The platform was devised to aid digital registration for all primary and secondary school students. NEMIS was developed in 2017 and before a nationwide rollout, the Ministry tested it in 600 schools.
The exercise had a one-month deadline (till February 20). Admittedly, this was a short period to register millions of students across the country. In line with Kenya’s habits toward deadlines, the process failed to meet the stipulated time. Specifically, about 3.8 million students out of the targeted 11 million have their profiles in NEMIS so far. As a result, the Ministry has extended the registration process to March 31.
NEMIS captures the names of students, teachers and learning institutions, students’ age, their parents’ info as well as basic household details.
It is believed that the government pushed the deadline to allow parents secure birth certificates for unregistered students. The exercise provides unique numbers for students. The code will then be used to track their performance from primary school to tertiary levels. Afterward, the government will use insights from the system to formulate plans and policies for the education sector.
Also, NEMIS targets to close gaps and inconsistencies in the country’s complex education system that is marred with transparency, accountability and transparency issues. For instance, the existing system cannot keep track of students who drop out, nor can it follow up on their eventual life choices.
It is worth noting the NEMIS portal has received criticism based on its lacklustre security measures, including lack of encryption. This is worrying due to the sensitivity of information fed into it.