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New System Being Sought As NEMIS Weakness Exposed

The Government could be set to spend millions of cash in creating a new data system that could be used to capture information about learners in the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

It has been revealed that the current National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) in its current design is not capable of collecting accurate data on learners as required in the new curriculum for both educational institutions and students alike.

The State Department for Curriculum Reforms Principal Secretary Fatuma Chege pointed out the weaknesses in the NEMIS system saying that it does have its issues.

“When I joined the Ministry, I found issues being raised. We need a new database for the new role of monitoring and evaluating learners across the whole system of education,” said Fatuma Chege.

PS Fatuma Chege was speaking in the last week when she led an entourage comprising of top officials from her office to the National Assembly Education Committee chaired by Florence Mutua.

However, Chege did not reveal much concerning the new system’s cost implications but mentioned that a Kshs. 572 million shortfalls to fund a number of activities in her jurisdiction.

“Our funding request was raised to Kshs. 911.90 million, leaving us with a shortfall of Kshs. 572.60 million,” said Fatuma Chege.

The issue also put the cost implications of the Competency-Based Curriculum under the 2-6-3-3-3 system of education in the frame.

Among the six main challenges that her office has faced in the implementation of the new curriculum is insufficient funding for activities that are executed in her office.

The other issues include those that require greater collaboration with other stakeholders like county governments, talent development organizations and sports organizations, inadequate staffing, lack of technical capacity for monitoring and evaluating curriculum reforms among education management staff and general misinformation on reforms regarding the CBC.

According to Kezzia Wandera, NEMIS does not include the levels of pre-primary, tertiary or university education.

“A uniform database from pre-primary up to tertiary and universities is needed. This is how we will be able to holistically execute the mandate assigned to us,” said Kezzia.

This means that NEMIS, which was launched in 2017 by-then Education Cabinet Secretary costing millions may be shelved and new funds used in creating a new one.

According to the CBC task force, each learner shall be assigned a tracking number after completing the school-based assessment in Grade 3.

According to the report, the number will be used to track each learner’s progress as they advance through all levels of education.

“This unique tracking number will be used all through in the learner’s academic life and will be used to track their performance,” said Sabina Chege.

Quite surprising is the fact that when NEMIS itself was launched it was hailed as a uniform one-stop database for all learners’ data. What may be so different in the new system remains to be seen with there being some suggestions among Kenyans among them ICT personnel, who feel NEMIS should just be modified to include all the other entities required for the sake of the CBC.


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