The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) has lauded Ghana for having developed adequate data on its tertiary educational institutions.
Mr Makha Ndao, ADEA Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), Coordinator, said Ghana and Seychelles were the only two out of 23 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which completed the Higher and Tertiary Education questionnaire to UNESCO Institute of Statistic in 2015.
He said many African nations were faced with numerous challenges in the collection, compilation and analysis of statistical data in higher education institutions.
He said higher education was one of education sub-sectors in Africa where it was very difficult to get comprehensive and reliable statistics.
“In many countries, the biggest challenge is also co-ordination the monitoring of education systems is the responsibility of multiple ministries, agencies and departments across different levels of government,” Mr Ndao remarked at the opening of a two-day workshop on Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) Benchmarking in Accra.
“Each may have different needs for monitoring and therefore may develop their own parallel monitoring systems without necessarily informing others,” he added.
The workshop, which is being organized by the ADEA in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU), overall objective is to build a strong HEMIS that is accurate and supports sector planning, monitoring, financing and quality assurance.
This would be done by identifying best practices, and needs in terms of capacity building and strategy development with specific areas that the universities would provide.
Participants were drawn from many African countries such as Ghana, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Senegal and Chad.
Mr Ndao said it was against this backdrop, that WGEMPS and Working Group on Higher Education were committed to support countries to examine systematically and strengthen the performance of their education systems using the country led Norms and Standards.
He explained that this approach- uses diagnostic tools for examining education systems and their component policy domains against regional standards and best practices and in comparison, with the policies and practices of countries around the world.
He said by leveraging this regional knowledge, the norms and standards approach and methodology fill a gap in the availability of data and evidence on what matters most to improve the quality of education and achievement of better results.
Professor Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary, National Council for Higher Education, acknowledged that African countries do have the problem reporting on the state of affairs as far as the status of higher education was concerned.
“Sometimes very basic information is lacking. One or two countries obviously have being doing well. And I am happy to say that Ghana has been consistent in terms of generation of statistics to reflect what the state of affairs is as far as higher education is concerned,” he said.
He said the nation’s higher educational institutions had their information management system through which they capture their own data.
Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Director of Information and Communications Technology Services and Knowledge Management, AAU, said the Association was facing numerous request for information on African universities, which they would not easily obtained.
“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,” she stated.
Dr Yohanne Woedetensae, Senior Education Expert, African Union Commission, said the development of HEMIS was instrumental in monitoring the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa and Agenda 2063 with respect to higher education activities.
He said furthermore, benchmarking of HEMIS would be supportive and complement to the African Quality Rating Mechanism.
He said robust Management Information System was essential for effectual policy development based on sound, accurate, timely and meaningful statistical information.
“It is necessary for good planning and development of appropriate interventions,” he said.
Mrs Rachael J. Ogbe, Principal Programme Officer, ECOWAS, praised ADEA for being a very reliable partner in the areas of HEMIS.