More than 25 participants from seven countries gathered in Maseru, Lesotho, from June 5-9, 2023, for a KIX Africa 19 Hub meeting on Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS). The meeting was led by the African Union's Pan-African Institute of Education for Development (IPED) and the Lesotho Ministry of Education and Training.
The meeting was part of the KIX Africa 19 Hub’s Data Challenge Strategy, which aims to provide a series of learning and capacity building events for Directors of Planning and EMIS staff at Ministries of Education in KIX Africa 19 countries. These events are designed to exchange knowledge on challenges, lessons learned, and strategies for improving practices in education management information systems, which are essential for sector-wide improvements in the delivery of education and training.
During the meeting, different countries have shared their own unique experiences on progress in terms of EMIS development. For example, participants from Eswatini shared how they shifted from a paper-based system to a web-based system using District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) in 2019. After a successful pilot in 100 schools, the country has now equipped all 940 schools with devices and connectivity to the DHIS2 platform. School administrators and district offices are currently receiving technical training on operating the open-source software. A tool that uploads directly onto the DHIS2 platform is also being developed.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, shared that they utilize software such as PHP, MySQL, and Excel in its locally developed EMIS system. This system enables district EMIS focal points to capture and upload data such as school census information directly to a centralized system without needing to go to headquarters to input the information.
In addition to sharing experiences, participants, including accredited experts, also used the revised EMIS framework developed by KIX country partners in 2021 to review the national EMIS assessment drafted by Lesotho's Ministry of Education and Training. The international team provided practical recommendations to strengthen the country's EMIS.
The Maseru meeting was a valuable opportunity for participants to learn from each other and share best practices in EMIS. The discussions and recommendations will help to strengthen EMIS systems in partner countries by:
- Reinforcing Southern African Community Development Community (SADC) EMIS norms and standards.
- Supporting them in integrating new EMIS with existing systems.
- Identifying training on data quality audits and system integration.
A similar peer review is planned to be held in Zimbabwe at the end of July.