ADEA applauds Ghana’s and Seychelles’ strong Higher Education Management Information System
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) congratulated Ghana and Seychelles for having well-developed management information systems for their higher education institutions. This was at a technical workshop on Higher Education Management Information Systems (HEMIS) benchmarking organized by ADEA’s Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS) and that of Higher Education (WGHE), in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU). The technical workshop took place in Accra, Ghana, from June 29-30, 2017.
The workshop attracted 25 participants, among them Mohammed Salifu, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), who was the Chairperson during the opening session. Other key delegates included Yohannes Woldetensae, Senior Education Expert, African Union Commission (AUC); Rachel Ogbe, Principal Programme Officer for Education, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); David Blaise Ossene, Education and Culture Expert, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); Nodumo Dhlamini, Director of ICT Services & Knowledge Management, AAU; several senior HEMIS experts from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mauritius, Senegal; senior Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) experts from the University of Moundou in Chad and from five universities from Ghana (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; University of Cape Coast; University of Ghana; University of Mines and Technology and University for Professional Studies of Accra). ADEA’s WGEMPS and WGHE staff as well as different media representatives were also in attendance.
The workshop aimed to build a strong HEMIS to provide quality information that supports informed decision making in leadership, governance and management of higher education institutions, and for facilitating sound sector planning, monitoring and evaluation, financing and quality assurance. This will be done by identifying best practices, and needs in terms of capacity building and strategy development with specific areas that the universities would provide.
The opening session included key note speeches from representatives of AAU, AUC, ECOWAS, ADEA-WGEMPS and NCTE. All the speakers lamented on the numerous challenges in the collection, compilation and analysis of statistical data in higher education sub sector in particular at institutional level in Africa. They also mentioned the lack of clear and comprehensive indicators to underpin the monitoring and evaluation framework for the Higher Education sector. These indicators are critical for tracking the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25), Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 4 on “Quality Education”.
Makha Ndao, WGEMPS Coordinator, speaking on behalf of Oley Dibba-Wadda, the ADEA Executive Secretary, stressed the difficulty of obtaining comprehensive and reliable statistics for the higher education sub sector. “Higher Education is one of education sub sectors in Africa where it is very difficult to get comprehensive and reliable statistics. Only 2 out of 23 countries (i.e. Ghana and Seychelles) in Sub-Saharan Africa completed the Higher and Tertiary Education questionnaire to UNESCO Institute for Statistics in 2015”, said Ndao. He cited coordination of the fragmented and parallel systems in place as one of the biggest challenges in many countries: the monitoring of education systems is the responsibility of multiple ministries, agencies and departments across different levels of government. Ndao reiterated ADEA’s and AAU’s commitment to support countries to systematically examine and strengthen the performance of their HEMIS using the country led Norms and Standards tools.
Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary of NCTE, in his opening statement agreed that access to basic information in the higher education sub-sector was a challenge. However, he expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the HEMIS workshop and also acknowledged the fact that Ghana was one of the two countries that have been consistent in reporting and providing higher education data. “We know that African universities are the sources of data on higher education and we are keen to strengthen their capacities to capture and provide information for national, regional and continental needs”, Nodumo Dhlamini, AAU’s Director of Information and Communications Technology Services and Knowledge Management and ADEA’s WGHE Coordinator stated during her intervention. In addition, she reminded the meeting that this workshop was a follow up from the AUC recommendations that ADEA would use the lessons learnt based on the EMIS Norms and Standards to help strengthen the African Universities’ HEMIS.
In his remarks, Yohannes Woedetensae, AUC’s Senior Education Expert also emphasized that benchmarking of HEMIS would be supportive and complementary to the African Quality Rating Mechanism. He said robust management information system were essential for effective policy development based on sound, accurate, timely and meaningful statistical information.
Lastly, Rachael J. Ogbe, Principal Programme Officer, ECOWAS, expressed her delight for the timely august gathering. She pointed out that EMIS was a key priority for the ECOWAS region. She also praised ADEA for being a very reliable partner in developing the EMIS Norms and Standards since the process of strengthening the management information system in the region started in Lomé in 2010. The joint collaboration between ECOWAS and ADEA has also resulted in the useful EMIS Peer Reviews in Ghana and Mali. To this end, she was hopeful that this collaboration would continue to ensure that a lasting solution is found for EMIS in general.
Youssouf Ario Maiga, WGEMPS Programs Manager and Alpha Bah, WGEMPS resource person led the facilitation of the workshop with technical backstopping thanks to Kwesi Acquah Sam from the AAU Secretariat and member of ADEA/WGHE.
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue, composed of all the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. Established in 1988 at the instigation of the World Bank Group, it has evolved into a pan-African institution based within the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). Since its inception, it has acted on processes that have had a profound impact on policy-making in Africa through evidence-based policy dialogue, capacity building, advocacy and networking. ADEA’s work has expanded to focus more on the development of skills and competencies across all the education sub-sectors. It envisions a “high quality African education and training system that is geared towards the promotion of critical knowledge and skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa”.