New govt learner tracking system, EMIS to start next year, Education Ministry confirms

Mr. Vincent Ssozi, Assistant Commissioner, Monitoring and Evaluation presented the project (COURTESY PHOTO)

KAMPALA —Mr Vincent Ssozi, the Assistant commissioner Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Education and Sports has said the Education Management Information System (EMIS), a learner tracking system will be useful in addressing some of the pending learning challenges eating up the education sector especially as more learners return to school in January 2022.

The EMIS tracking system, aims at integrating information about learners, hence, making it available to respective stakeholders at various decision making levels.

“The system will enable us know how many learners we have in the country by level of education and gender. But also, we shall be able to track transition rates from primary to secondary,” Mr Ssozi said.

He added: “It will also give us confidence on the information we are entering into the data system.”

Mr Ssozi made the remarks on Tuesday, December 14, at the two-day education review workshop taking place at Kololo Airstrip grounds.

The event which ends on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 aims at evaluating the performance of the Education and Sports sector from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 and then set priorities for the coming Financial Year, 2022/23.

In addition, lessons are expected to be drawn ahead of the reopening of schools in January which were temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a way of dealing with the issue of ghost teachers, Mr Ssozi said the ministry was going to require all of them to provide their National Identification Numbers (NINs) on the system in addition to other details.

The learner tracking system, EMIS, to help education sector deal with ghosts, absentee pupils, teachers

This information will be then be integrated with other government systems specifically National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to validate whether a specific person exists.

The problem of ghost teachers in schools continues to cause injury to the national treasury as salaries are paid to nonexistent ones in both primary and secondary schools.

Besides ghost teachers, the national treasure also grapples with the issue of funding nonexistent learners and teachers.

Mr Ssozi said the tracking system will enable parents keep track of their children’s education’s status. Since the majority of learners don’t have national identification cards, they will have their Learner Identification Number linked to either their parent’s or guardian’s.

The new learner tracking system, EMIS, to help education sector deal with ghosts, absentee pupils, and teachers

How it works:

According to information from earlier presentations made by the Developer, SMS One Ltd, the EMIS tracker is expected to integrate all data and information about leaners in the education and sports sector, make it available to various stakeholders at various levels of decision and data consumption for the effective planning, management and accountability.

According to the presentations to senior government officials by Mr. David Mushabe, the SMS One Managing Director seen by this writer, the re-developed EMIS is supposed to address the challenges faced by the Education Ministry during the EMIS data collection, processing and analysis.

The new EMIS software, will for example cover information management from pre-primary, primary and secondary schools including tertiary and non-tertiary institutions, and will be online-based and accessible to all stakeholders including District Education Officers, School Inspectors, Chief Administrative Officers and Resident District Commissioners.

According to the developers, an intuitive web portal will help schools access and create their EMIS user accounts and update data about their learners, teaching and non-teaching staff, infrastructure and facilities including physical education and sports.

“For new schools wishing to submit applications for either EMIS number, license or registration certificate for their institutions, will do so in EMIS.Previously, these processes have been manual and taking a lot of time to accomplish. With the new EMIS, both the application and renewal processes shall be handled online,” the manual for the system reads.

Two of the peculiar features of EMIS, according to the developers include introduction of unique learner identification number (LIN) and the functionality to track how learners will transfer from one school to another.

The EMIS learners tracker project was launched on Tuesday at the sector review workshop opened by Education and Sports Minister Janet Museveni (COURTESY PHOTO)

The LIN, automatically generated by EMIS, will work as the unique identifier until all learners have been issued the National Identification Number (NIN) by NIRA.

Each LIN will be linked to the NIN of the learner’s parent or guardian. In any case, the LIN will be a mandatory requirement for UNEB registration, and a learner will use same LIN from pre-primary to University.

To avoid double counting of learners or learner inflation, schools will not be permitted to receive and register learners in EMIS without first submitting learner transfer requests into EMIS.

Top officials at the Education and Finance Ministries, are confident that the use of LIN and the learner transfer features in EMIS are expected to weed out ghost learners.

Once fully implemented, the new EMIS will be handling records of close to 15 million learners from over 48,000 education institutions across Uganda.

There are reportedly high expectations by Education Ministry top management, and therefore the success of EMIS completion will be a key legacy project for the current leadership, with its rollout welcoming learners back to school next year.

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