Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) Unit
The EMIS department in the Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for the promotion and use of information in the education sector to inform on policy planning and implementation, decision making, monitoring and evaluation. The acronym EMIS stands for “Education Management Information System”. It is a system for organizing information based on a systematic way for the management of educational development. It is an information centre in the Ministry and is responsible for educational research; data (collection, processing, analyzing), report (writing, publication, dissemination) and reporting on educational services. The unit is still centralized and relatively small but there are plans to decentralize and expand in order to fulfill its mandate to the fullest and timely.
Currently It has a small local area network, with 12 workstations. This is where most data processing is done. All data is submitted to this unit through the Regional Education Offices (REO). This is through questionnaires that are sent to schools through the REOs. The vision is to have data capture and analysis capacity in the regions so data can also be used a grassroots level. Its core function is data, statistics and information. The unit does undertake research especially with regards to finding out about the status and/or health of the education system. It a management tool, as the saying goes, “One cannot measure or monitor something that cannot be measured”, and the tool for measurement in education sector is the EMIS.
Vision of the EMIS
To ensure that the Ministry of Education and Training has adequate data and information (empirical sound) on the education sector for ‘evidence based’ planning, informed decision and policy making.
Strengthen the Management Capacity of the Ministry of Education and Training through provision of clear, well defined, accessible, accurate, timely, relevant, strategic information and data of high quality.
All statistics of formal, and non-formal, from early childhood, to higher education, teacher training institutions and technical and vocational institutions all are under the responsibility of unit. The education institutions are the major source of educational information. The role of the regions is to create close contact with institutions and coordinate the process at grassroots level. The other role of the district staff is to relay information, guidelines, and reports from the centre to institutions and back. This includes ensuring that the institutions have received the necessary instruments of data collection, filled it in correctly and sent back to regions.
Finally the central EMIS plays a coordinating role, connect major stakeholders in partnership and experience sharing program while at the same time responsible for the following activities:
· Monitoring of the Ministry goals, visions and strategies. This includes monitoring and evaluation of all activities in education in the local and also international agenda, importantly the support the recently nationally developed the National Education and Training Improvement Plan (NETIP)
· Educational Research and Survey administration of the Ministry of Education and Training including quantitative instrument design, testing, re-design, distribution and collection, organizing and processing, compilation and cleaning of data ; Analysis, interpretation and use of educational information
· Educational statistics on the whole sector (formal and non-formal) sector
· Advising the Ministry on policy directions, deriving policies, from simulations/ forecasts/ and projections
· Assisting in the development of research agenda for the Ministry which includes policy and analysis of the state of education thus improving the MOE performance and transparency standards.
· The unit is also in charge of the Ministry’s simulation models which include the “Financial Operational Costs Models” at primary and secondary levels. This requires annual updates and will be used for evidence based budgeting.
· The monitoring and evaluation (analysis) of the HIV and AIDS situation especially at primary and secondary education levels.
· Reports on educational statistics to international agencies which include the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the SADC and AU This involves consolidating all data needs and also mounting surveys for all additional indicators that may be needed
· Coordinate activities of the South and East African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) in the country and
Manage Ministry’s webpage and other e-governance activities
The Ministry of Education EMIS unit undertakes a number of surveys on the education sector. There are two annual surveys which are administered on annual basis on the education sector; these are the 16th Day Survey which is undertaken after 15 days of school and the Annual Education Census (AEC) which is undertake on the last school day of March each year.