Emmanuel Eneje, Director of Planning Research and Statistics, Enugu State Ministry of Education
The 2009 Annual School Census (ASC) in Enugu state, with support from UKaid through the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), provided unprecedented credible, verifiable and usable data that has fed back into the state 2011 planning and budgeting and informed important decisions concerning education in the state.
“Now we have a documented 2009 ASC report, we are now able to use the data to plan for our 2011 budget… we can now project how many schools we need to renovate in 2011,” says Emmanuel Eneje, Director of Planning Research and Statistics, Enugu State Ministry of Education (photo below).
The Annual School Census should be a yearly exercise undertaken by the state to determine the status of schools and enable proper planning for the provision of its children’s education. But before UKaid support in Enugu state, the ASC was never valued and securing state finance for it was a big problem - so it was often missed and schools were often inadequately provided for.
Eneje commented on ESSPIN’s support, “I see this as divine favour in getting correct data to plan education in Enugu state… ESSPIN brought new innovations, and told us we could use Microsoft Excel to input the data and this simplified things. They trained our staff to use the software to input and analyse data. The 2009 ASC was the most accurate of all education census conducted years before.” Now the State Ministry of Education is committed to ASC.
There were still many technical and logistical challenges to conducting the 2009 ASC, but it is seen as a turning point for Enugu state. Eneje sums it up “We are confident to say that our report has provided accurate information on schools. We now know the number of students promoted from one class to another; number of teachers retiring from service and the number to employ; in planning for the renovations of dilapidated building and repairs of furniture, we now know the actual number and how much to spend.” Ultimately, this will help the 254,895 children in Enugu’s 1194 primary schools get the classrooms, teachers and learning materials they need for a better quality of education.
ESSPIN is a six-year programme (2008 – 2014) supports Federal and State governments – Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara and Lagos initially with Enugu added in 2010 – to develop effective planning, financing and delivery systems that will improve the quality of basic education. ESSPIN helps set up systems to capture, manage and share information and knowledge. An effective Education Management Information System (EMIS) provides solid data for developing policies, and for planning and budgeting. ESSPIN is providing practical support to improve school censuses to get accurate data on schools.