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The Government is likely to spend millions of shillings to build a fresh data system to capture learners’ details under the new competency-based curriculum.

Fresh details reveal that the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS), in its present design, is unable to accurately capture accurate data for learners and schools. State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms PS Fatuma Chege confirmed to members of parliament that NEMIS it has issues.

“I found issues being raised about NEMIS when I joined the ministry… But we need a new database for our function of monitoring and evaluating learners across the entire education system,” said Chege.  According to Chege, the new system would cost an additional  Sh572 million.

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“Our funding request was raised to Sh911.90 million. This leaves us with a deficit of Sh572.60 million,” said Chege.

This revelation gives some information regarding the cost of Competency-Based Curriculum under the new education system. Chege listed six top challenges her department is facing on the implementation of the new curriculum, among them being inadequate funding of the activities in her office.

Other hiccups she said are emergent policy concerns, which necessitate strengthening of collaborations with stakeholders, including county governments, sports and talent development entities. She also cited inadequate staffing, weak technical capacities for monitoring and evaluation of curriculum reforms among education management staff and general misinformation about curriculum reforms.

What, however, stood out is the challenge on uncoordinated data sources. Chege’s concerns were supported by  the deputy director quality assurance and standards, Kezzia Wandera, who said said that NEMIS only aligns itself to primary and secondary education and does not take care of pre-primary, tertiary and university education.

“We would want a one-stop shop of data from pre-primary, all the way to tertiary and universities. This is how we shall be able to holistically execute the mandate we have been assigned,” said Wandera.

This means that the multi-million system launched in 2017 when Fred Matiang’i was the Education Cabinet Secretary may be abolished and more money pumped into a new system. According to CBC task force report, each learner should be given a tracking number at Grade 3 after sitting school-based assessments.

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