Somalia: A better data management system is improving education

Thanks to a GPE-funded program implemented by CARE in partnership with the Somalia Federal Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Somalia’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) has been improved.

February 01, 2024 by CARE International Somalia
3 minutes read
Abdi, a headteacher, shows how he uses the education management information system.. Credit: CARE
Abdi, a headteacher, shows how he uses the education management information system.
Credit: CARE
“I leave the office when I am tired and stressed after organizing files manually and hardly find time to relax with my family.”
Headteacher in one of the GPE-ESPIG-supported schools

Abdi, a headteacher in one of the GPE-supported schools in Somalia, heads to his workstation every day to be greeted by a mountain of paperwork. He is required to sort and organize the school filing system manually.

This is a time-consuming activity that is bound to result in errors – time that could be used for teaching, school supervision and quality checks.

His wish was to have this process automated in a system that would be user-friendly, and to be trained to use it. This would improve the data collection process, provide easier storage and retrieval of student and teacher information, save valuable time, improve the quality of data, and improve his work-life balance!

The centralized Education Management Information System (EMIS) is the tool that Abdi needed. It is a comprehensive information system designed to collect, store, manage, and analyze data related to education.

A computer shows the use of the education management information system.
A computer shows the use of the education management information system.

The system is managed by education administrators who collect and assess data at the school, district, and regional level to improve education quality, identify areas for improvement, and ensure efficient resource allocation for educational institutions and systems.

Initiated in 2016 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education (MOECHE), the EMIS collects and analyzes data from schools on an annual basis.

Since its inception, the system has had several challenges in ensuring that it is effectively utilized. Persistent challenges include lack of individual student-level data, gaps in capturing data on out-of-school children (the only data sources on the latter group are population estimates derived from current enrollment data and project-level studies).

The GPE-funded program sought to enhance capacity at Federal Member State (FMS) level to manage, monitor and regulate the education sector. The program has made a significant investment in operationalizing EMIS centers through rehabilitation work, conducting reviews on the system capacity and data audits to improve the system (management and data analysis, across the MOECHE and FMS MOEs).

In addition, the program developed additional functions that will show the overview of the national examination results for grades 8 and 12.

Furthermore, the program supported 14 EMIS staff both at FMS MOEs and MOECHE levels with monthly salaries to oversee the smooth running of the system.

Through the program, a national EMIS policy was developed, validated, and disseminated to all FMS and other education stakeholders.

A computer shows the use of the education management information system
A computer shows the use of the education management information system.

All primary schools located in the Federal Member States and Banaadir region are registered in the EMIS.

At the outset, the EMIS was restricted to covering only formal primary and secondary education but has now expanded coverage to include Alternative Basic Education (ABE) and early childhood education and their respective indicators. Teachers like Abdi have been trained on the system to effectively and correctly capture and upload student data.

To date, all levels of MOEs can access the system and can easily track enrollment, attendance, completion rates, learning assessments, and institution, teacher, and student profiles. This information is useful to measure overall reach, quality and decision making at the MOECHE.

*Name has been changed for privacy.

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