We cherish education for all our people equally and aim to provide a life-long education of quality for all children, youth, and adults of South Sudan; an education that is relevant and affordable based on the needs and aspirations of the people, to enable them to become responsible and productive citizens.
- Mission of RSS MoGEI
The Education Management Information System (EMIS) is a government programme housed within the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI), under the Directorate for Planning and Budgeting’s DSU. EMIS facilitates information-driven policy discussions and decision-making by collecting, processing, storing, analysing, and disseminating education information. The DSU is primarily responsible for conducting the AEC of all educational establishments in the country. The AEC covers all areas of the country’s education system (pre-primary, primary, secondary, and AES) and has recently been expanded to include TTIs, TVET, and universities. The DSU also undertakes school mapping, field verification, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) preparedness activities, and provides oversight over all data collection activities implemented across the country.
Structure of the MoGEI
EMIS in the RSS has come a long way. During the decades of conflict in South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) authorities together with development partners on the ground did not forget education, which was managed by the Secretariat of Education (SoE). In 1998, UNICEF, in collaboration with the SoE, contracted the African Education Trust (AET) to collect and compile data on primary education in rebel-held areas. Data was analysed and documented in a booklet entitled Schools Baseline Assessment (SBA) released in 2002.
After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the SoE decided to expand the programme and initiated the first collection of EMIS raw data in 2005, thanks to the support of the Sudan Basic Education Programme (SBEP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2006, additional baseline data was collected through the Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces (RALS). From 2006 to 2013, EMIS activities were supported by UNICEF through funding from various donors, with contribution from the government, and technically assisted by FHI360.
Since 2014, EMIS activities have been funded by the EU in 2014-15, and the Global Partnership for Education (2016), and managed by UNICEF. Altai Consulting has been providing technical assistance with a key focus on decentralisation, ownership, and sustainability. Although no census was done in 2014 as a result of delays in resource mobilisation, a comprehensive baseline exercise was conducted in October 2014 to prepare for the 2015 census. The exercise consisted of assembling as complete a list of schools as possible from a variety of sources and verified through a combination of methods, including ground verification of 993 schools for which the data available needed to be confirmed.
Data collection for the 2015 census was completed between February and April 2015 across 7 states, with more than 6,000 Head Teachers being reached out to. This was followed by data entry from April to June 2015, including the verification of about 7,500 questionnaires and decentralised data entry centres in Central Equatoria and Western Bahr-el Ghazal states. Between June and September 2015, for the first time, data analysis was performed by the EMIS team in South Sudan.
Data collection for the 2016 census is currently on-going.
Relevance and Utilisation of EMIS Data
To plan and manage its education system effectively, South Sudan needs reliable and credible data. Bycollecting and providing systematic and quality knowledge to education stakeholders about the status of the education system as a whole and the country’s learning outcomes, EMIS assists the GoSS in identifying educational needs and priorities, designing appropriate interventions, and allocating limited resources in the face of competing priorities. For instance, this year’s EMIS data will notably be used as a key data source to inform the development of the 2015 Education Sector Analysis (ESA), which will in turn inform the proposed review of the Education Sector Plan (ESP).
EMIS also assists the Ministry and other relevant agencies in providing critical information to monitor progress against key targets of the EFA, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and the new SDGs, among others. When institutionalised and guided by a clear vision and strategy, EMIS has the potential to help policy makers manage an education system able to produce quality outputs.
The “EMIS process” consists of five (5) steps:
1) Fieldwork planning: Designing, reviewing, and printing of the AEC questionnaires, verifying the EMIS baseline list of schools, and preparing the schedules, budgets, and other necessary administrative and logistical arrangements.
2) Data collection: Conducting training of Head Teachers on questionnaire completion, verifying the data through the Payam and County Education Offices (CEO) and SMoE, and retrieval of the completed questionnaires.
3) Data processing: Entering of data into the EMIS database (including at decentralised level), merging of all data, and final data cleaning and verification prior to analysis.
4) Data dissemination: Production of tools for distribution and use in education planning and management. The Education Statistical Booklets are such tools, along with other outreach activities at regional and state levels.
5) Data utilisation: Series of training sessions that guide national, state, and county education agencies and their partner organisations on the application of EMIS data in building short-, mid-, and long-term strategic plans and budgets.
Each step requires extensive coordination with stakeholders at state, county,payam, and school levels, as illustrated below.