New system to facilitate proper use of school resources

Thursday June 1 2017

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i addresses a stakeholders meeting

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i addresses a stakeholders meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on May 19, 2017. Dr Matiang’i said the teacher management reforms were prompted by the unprecedented high rate of teacher absenteeism. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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All students countrywide will get personal identification numbers by the end of this month.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the National Education Management Information System (Emis), for which a national launch is set for this month, is a management tool that will be a source of “truth” for generation of accurate, reliable and timely education data.

“The Emis data will be validated in a systematic manner. The first phase of Emis reform will ensure that every student in Kenya will have a six-character Unique Personal Identifier (UPI),” Dr Matiang’i, who chairs the project, said.

SAFETY OF THE SYSTEM
Speaking in the United States last week, Dr Matiang’i said that, to enhance accountability for education data, Emis has been designed in such a way that only head teachers can upload information directly to the system and only they can change their data.

“No one else will be able to alter the data submitted online by the schools,” Dr Matiang’i said in a presentation at a World Bank seminar on education reforms in Kenya held in Washington, DC.

“The system has been designed to generate critical primary and secondary data, depending on the needs of the users.”

ABUSE OF RESOURCES
He observed that the system will enable the Kenyan government to pinpoint wastage and leakage of resources and hence increase accountability for the taxpayer resources.

“The ministry expects to realise substantial savings in capitation grants once the system is implemented,” Dr Matiang’i adde.

“The system will also enable a disaggregated student level data on educational expenditures to facilitate policy makers to establish the status of crucial education indicators such as student-to-textbook ratios, pupil-teacher ratios and allocation and utilisation of capitation grants at the school level.”

The second phase of Emis will include a mechanism for monitoring learning in basic education, he added.

“For Emis, it is proposed that Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) undertakes annual learner management assessments in grades 3, 6 and 10.

“The schools will also be expected to analyse and upload termly and/or annual student’s assessments data,” Dr Matiang’i said.

INADEQUATE LEARNING
To ensure sustainability of the Emis reforms, Dr Matiang’i said, a policy and a legal framework were being developed alongside the system.

“The new Emis system is being undertaken locally by Kenyans through a joint effort with line ministries such as ICT and Interior.”

The World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) are providing technical assistance and resources for the Emis system.

The CS said the teacher management reforms were prompted by the unprecedented high rate of teacher absenteeism, coupled with inadequate mastery of subject matter content and pedagogic skills.

He cited recent Knec assessments that show low learning outcomes among Standard Three pupils and Form Two students.

Dr Matiang’i said the teacher is the most crucial resource for determining the quality of learning outcomes and enhancing classroom experiences at the school level.