Editorial: Need to Fast Track EMIS Completion Process

Abysmal state of education is arguably one of the biggest problems faced by Balochistan at the moment. Number of out of school children and the infrastructure shortcomings speak for the poor state of Education in the province. In order to improve the education system it’s important to collect correct and authentic data first. There is dearth of authentic data relating to Education due to delay in conducting census. For this purpose, education department of Balochistan initiated the idea of Education Management Information System (EMIS).
EMIS is the system adopted by the education department to collect authentic data from all 32 districts of Balochistan and to verify the existing data as well. EMIS is a commendable step and it can help a great deal in improvement of education in Balochistan. It will provide the basic authentic data which can then be used for making decisions about improvement of education.
However, the completion process of EMIS is facing unnecessary and unintentional delay which is a cause of concern. Verification of schools and teachers was started in July 2014 and was supposed to end in July 2015 but still it’s not complete.

Out of approximately 60,000 teachers, HR profiles of 45,055 have been collected by EMIS

According to data collected by Balochistan Voices from its sources in Education Department, 75 percent teacher profiles have been collected by EMIS so far. Out of approximately 60,000 teachers, HR profiles of 45,055 have been collected despite delay of almost one year in EMIS completion process. HR profiles of over 14,000 teachers are still not part of EMIS database. There is a huge possibility that majority of these teachers can be ghost teachers. Similarly, out of 13,279 schools, 11,999 have been verified and 1,252 are yet to be verified. There can be a large number of ghost schools in the unverified schools.
According to sources the delay is caused by the reluctance of District Education Officers (DEOs) and teacher unions who are deliberately creating hurdles. The mafia in education department makes a fortune out of ghost teachers and ghost schools. EMIS, when completed, will bring an end to these practices and that’s why there is systematic resistance against it.
Mafia in education department does not want to make EMIS successful and that’s why they are doing their best to delay its completion. They want to stall the completion process till the time incumbent Secretary Education is transferred and then this initiative can easily be turned into failure.

Education mafia wants to stall the completion process of EMIS till the time incumbent Secretary Education is transferred

Therefore the need of the hour for current education regime is to ensure quick completion of EMIS data verification process. What was supposed to be completed in July 2015 is still far from being completed. It’s time to take hard decisions and deal with the education mafia who is not allowing the completion of EMIS process. If this issue is treated on routine basis then it can never be solved. The deadline of the completion process will keep on extending and it will never complete.
Civil Society and media also needs to raise this critical issue and put pressure on Education department to expedite the process of EMIS completion and remove hurdles by any means necessary.
Balochistan Voices
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Adnan Aamir is founder and Editor of Balochistan Voices. He also works as an independent journalist covering politics, economy, and development. He is Digital Security Fellow of Reporters Without Borders 2019. He has also completed Chevening South Asian Journalism fellowship from the University of Westminster in 2018.