The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah has said that reliable and valid data is vital to the delivery of qualitative and functional education.
Prof. Anwukah, who stated this in Owerri, Imo State, during the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Education Management Information System (EMIS), described the theme of the conference, “Making Every Child Count,” as apt giving the importance of data for effective planning purpose.
According to a statement made available to The AUTHORITY by the education ministry, the minister said that the education sector within the last two decades had faced numerous challenges, ranging from large number of out-of-school children to weak governance, but stressed that reliable data collection is key activity towards closing the gaps created by these challenges.
He noted that challenges in the sector which often resulted in the development of human capital that are neither self-reliant nor relevant to market needs underscored the fundamental reason for organising the maiden conference on EMIS.
He disclosed that the 2015/2016 Annual School Census, which was flagged off in February 2016 has been concluded nationwide, adding that the 2016/2017 edition will be flagged off soon.
Declaring the conference open, Governor Rochas Okorocha, thanked the Federal Ministry of Education for choosing Owerri for the event, saying that education tops priority of his administration’s programmes.
He called on the participants to come up with effective way of reliable data collection, as well as deployment of ICT at all levels of the education system.
On her part, the Director, Policy, Planning, Research and Development, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Magdalene Anene-Maidoh, represented by the Deputy Director, EMIS, Mr. Matthew Nganjiozor, said the inability of most states to sustain the Annual School Census exercise has been a major setback.