Kenya: Implementation of education data system reveals anomalies

Africa /Kenya/ 19.02.2018/ By:

The rollout and subsequent implementation of the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) across all schools in the country has revealed gaps in our national data system that needs to be addressed urgently.

While rolling out the programme, the Ministry of Education reiterated the importance of the exercise and indicated that it would go a long way towards production of timely, accurate and reliable data.

For the first time the sector would be able to among other things track students movement along the education chain and account for every learner and resources, the ministry argued.

This is of utmost importance given the massive funding that continues to go into the education sector.

Over the past five years Kenya has continued to steadily spend about six per cent of the GDP in the sector with the figure likely to ramp upwards given the recent heavy budgetary commitments by the government. Indeed, to enable consumption of the data from schools by all relevant stakeholders, emerging challenges of integrated data management should be sorted out.

Already some teachers are reportedly grappling with cases of birth certificates entry numbers and national Identity Card numbers giving different names from the bearers and appearing as not validated by Integrated Populations Regulations System (IPRS).

Launched in 2015 IPRS was intended to store data of all Kenyans at a central location for easy electronic access by institutions, including private corporations that provide crucial and sensitive services. This would be accessed and relayed conveniently at the touch of a button.

When this cannot be accurately done, it points out to our collective ineffective use of technology at entry points of crucial processes and operations as well as inadequate skills development of the work force.

The problem seems to be originating from data entry level where any wrong data that finds itself into the registry chain snowballs into future anomalies throughout the whole system. Our national data management system should be cleaned up and full proofed so as to be able to track births and subsequent issuance of ID cards.

Whatever challenges that exist and have been unearthed are surmountable and should not diffuse the benefit that have been envisioned through the programme.

Allan Onunga, secondary school teacher.

Time to protect children from harmful content in matatus

Some of the public transport vehicles in our major towns have mounted big screens on which they show lurid music videos without caring about the ages of their passengers.

Some of their passengers are children. A series of research shows that children often imitate what they see, read, or hear. Yet children are not the only ones affected.

Exposure to pornography creates a range of devastating effects on the mental, moral and spiritual health of society as a whole in the long term.

Exposure to pornography vitiates the learning habits of children and hinders their mental growth. Images imprinted on the mind of a child at an early age often reflect on their actions later.

Screening of indecent content in PSVs go against the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222, the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 and Children’s Act. According to the Films and Stage Plays Act cap 222, screening of the content in the vehicles is considered a public exhibition.

Consumption of pornography is also associated with many negative emotional, psychological, and physical health outcomes.

These include increased rates of depression, anxiety, violent behaviour, younger age of sexual debut, sexual promiscuity and increased risk of teen pregnancy.


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