A school management system is a piece of software that fully automates or partially-automates the operations of a school. Be it a nursery school, primary school, secondary school or tertiary institution, the importance of such software cannot be understated.
A good school management system would usually have the following modules
- Student bio-data management
- Student Application/Admission Management
- Result management
- Billing Management
- Time Table Management
- Transport Management
- Attendance management
- Examination/Test taking
- Payment processing
The basic goal is to make sure that these processes are driven by a computer software and that the data inputted/generated are electronically kept.
- The automated processes would be easier to complete and would be done more effectively.
Take the case of a class teacher in a school where results are being managed manually with paper. To compute results he/she would need to write down the individual scores of each student in each subject, calculate the total score, find averages, determine positions. Etc. All these would take time and is also prone to lots of mistakes as well. However, with the use of a School Management System for this purpose, all the teacher has to do is to input the scores of the students and the system does the rest of the work. If the tests/examinations were electronically administered, the teacher would not even need to type in the scores.
- Data loss is close to impossible. Since the data is not stored on paper, no data would be lost because a piece of paper got burnt in a fire incidence, stolen or misplaced. Unless the server housing the data gets destroyed and all other back-ups get destroyed as well (which is not very likely as long as there are multiple back-ups), it’s almost impossible for data to be lost.
- Data is readily available to those that need it and when they need it. A parent for example can access the data of his/her child/ward in the middle of the night when the school is closed by simply logging on to the school management system with their credentials.
- Generating statistical data is also very easy. Since the data is already in an electronic format, exporting the data to any other software to generate statistical data would be very easy. Depending on how function-rich the system is, it can also generate those statistical data as well.
- For one that has a payment processing module, it would greatly minimize or even eliminate loss of revenue due to pilfering completely, since revenue collection would be done electronically.
- Like any other software that runs over a network (whether a local intranet or the internet), connectivity issues may arise, which would prevent users from being able to access the system.
- If the server hosting the application goes down, just like in (1) above, users would not be able to access the software and therefore not able to do their work for that period.
- If user authorization is not well-managed or if the maker-checker methodology (where someone starts a process and another person(s) authorize(s) or finish(es) it) is not built into the software, then malicious users may compromise the system.
- There is the saying, “the only safe system is one that is not being used”. So, as it is for every system, hackers would always try to gain unauthorized access into your system. Therefore, care must be taken to select a system that is secure and is also regularly updated to be able to stand against digital threats.
The different types of pricing models for this kind of software are listed below:
- Payment of one-time development fee and annual maintenance fee.
- Payment of annual or termly/per-semester flat/fixed subscription fee.
- Payment of annual or termly/per-semester subscription fee per student.
So, if you have a school or you know someone that does, then now is the time to start using one if you are yet to. There are lots of School Management Systems flying around and it’s getting cheaper by the day. So, it’s much easier to adopt one these days than it was a few years ago. You just need to check around and also do some comparing and contrasting before you finally decide on which one to adopt.