I took the liberty to ask a senior manager at a leading Educational Publisher his thoughts about NEMIS. What he told me worries me.
I’m copying his email below verbatim but protecting his identity.
The Ministry of Education is capturing data of every learner and putting in this NEMIS system.That is why you have been reading parents are spending nights at Registration centres looking for Birth Certificates of their children which is a main requirement of NEMIS.
On the service it looks good but for a student of Information Science, this is a dangerous exercise that is done in a vacuum. Kenya does not have a clear policy and data protection law(s). That should be what is put in place before the NEMIS system. The data they are getting is too much. They need both parents details (all from the sub-location) and telephone.
What will make some crooks not access that then know XX is a man of means, go for your child, kidnap them them then starting seeking ransom from you? What protects our children from that data being sold to commercial entities for advertisement? What protects the child from their academic performance (it will be part of what NEMIS will be capturing) being used to stigmatize them in future? You can imagine you are vying for an office and someone has all your records. In a sense, we are not assured of privacy and confidentiality.
That said, we are a very meek people who fear “fighting the Government” so this will go on then consequences will be dire.
Hussein & Associates
+254 0713 601113
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Sent from my iPad
>> From: Grace Bomu via kictanet <email@example.com>
>> Date: 17 May 2018 at 7:52:17 PM EAT
>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Cc: Grace Bomu <email@example.com>
>> Subject: [kictanet] Seeking information on NEMIS
>> Reply-To: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Dear listers,
>> I am sure that those of you who are parents/guardians/caregivers here filled in the NEMIS (Ministry of Education System) forms from their children’s schools at least once or twice as the school year or registration for exams.
>> It got me wondering what the system is really about and how children’s data is protected. I scoured the internet for any policy/legal document and the one I came across was a user guide.
>> Would anyone, the Ministry, Authority, task force members or contractors please share more information on the purpose of the system as well as how parents and children can access it, how long the data will be kept, who is keeping it etc?
>> Grace Mutung’u
>> Skype: gracebomu
>> PGP ID : 0x33A3450F
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