SADC EMIS Norms and Standards Peer Review Assessment Report - Swaziland

A key challenge facing the SADC region’s ability to report on its human resource development achievements and challenges is information gaps or “data blanks”. This is a problem of inadequate data coverage of all education and training institutions (both public and private) and all sub-sectors in the education system. In other cases, it is the structural arrangements for the management of education in the absence of a policy, and norms and standards, for the management of information on education and training. Some countries have more than one Ministry responsible for the delivery and management of education and therefore each Ministry collects its own data and information. Issues of duplication, varying definitions and poor coordination of sector wide data arise, affecting the quality and availability of education statistics. These issues are compounded when comparisons are made across countries. As a result, few Member States are reporting comprehensively on all the required global education indicators. This tends to lead to a number of problems in monitoring and evaluating the performance of an education and training sector in countries and across the region.

Ministers of Education in the SADC region have placed importance on effective planning and policy making based on sound information and rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the performance of education systems by prioritising Education Management Information System (EMIS) in their regional agenda. To facilitate all countries in the region to effectively report on all the agreed set of statistics and indicators and to ensure cross-country comparison, minimum norms and standards for EMIS are essential. The minimum EMIS norms and standards are intended to guide countries in developing or improving and maintaining appropriate, comprehensive and sustainable national education management information systems. In addition, they are intended to facilitate harmonisation of education management information systems to contribute towards the development of regional and continental EMIS networks. The SADC EMIS Norms and Standards code contains 17 minimum norms and standards covering policy and legal frameworks, resource availability and utilization, statistical processes and education information reports. SADC Ministers of Education adopted this code at their annual meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in March 2010 and by doing so, committed themselves to adhere to these norms and standards, thereby improving their EMIS. The Assessment Framework and process developed by Member States, stemming from the code, was approved by the Ministers at their annual meeting in 2012 with the intention that all member countries would become compliant. The Swaziland peer review is therefore a follow up to these commitments and a similar process is envisaged in other SADC Member States.