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Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide

Digital School Management Systems

Copyright © Chukwujindu Kosisochukwu Emmanuel


2018

The right of Chukwujindu Kosisochukwu Emmanuel


to be identified as Author of this work has been
asserted by him in accordance with the Nigerian
copyright (amendment) Decree 1999.

First published October 2018

Published by:

Cadright e-Publications

www.ict.cadrightglobalresources.com

All Rights Reserved.

No Part of this publication may be reproduced or


transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any
information storage or retrieval system without
permission in writing from the Publisher.

All citations, references made in this book are


indicated at the back of the text for further Readings.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Dedicated to Almighty God, for the life he has given us and all its
beauty.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to thank my lovely wife who painstakingly typed this work


from my written manuscript

I also appreciate my entire staff at Cadright ICT who work so hard


on our schools consultancy business, you guys make ICT business
worthwhile in so many ways, I am encouraged by our work
together

I heartily appreciate all the staff at the publishing house who


worked meticulously during the tedious production process to
make this print possible. I am grateful.

I give God all the glory for the intellectual excellence bestowed on
the Chukwujindus, for Good always begets Good.

And, finally, Thank you, to all our esteemed school clients who
believe in us, we continually seek to serve you better.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Foreword

Use of digital tools such as websites, portals, apps, etc to


facilitate school management and administration is
increasingly being embraced in Africa. What is already
common place in Europe and America seems to just be
picking momentum in these parts due to obvious social
and economic reasons. The advancements in information
technology affecting several walks of life has always
been pioneered by the western civilizations leaving us in
Africa playing catch-up; a game which we seem to be
very good at. As heavy consumers of information
technology products, consistently developed by others,
the gap in technology naturally positions Africa as a huge
market for such technological products.

With no prejudice however to the current technology


giants and pacesetters, the dream lives on in our hearts of
a time, when Africa will live up to its own technological
expectations’ developing and marketing indigenous
materials (products) adapted to our own socio-economic

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


hemi-sphere and even positioned for export to other parts
of the world.

The use of one form of digital school management tool or


another is invaluable for the smooth and efficient running
of a school. This book treats the phenomenon, by
shedding light on the African case, while providing
guidelines for it’s development, integration and
operation.

By extension, this book is useful for software developers


seeking to create digital school management tools,
corporate vendors integrating such systems for schools as
well as school owners and educational consultants using
the systems for administration of schools.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 What Is A Digital School Management System?


• Who develops it, who integrates it, who uses it?
• At what stage of management is a digital school
management system required?
• What does my school benefit from it? What does the
programming company benefit from it? What do
educational consultants benefit from it ?

2.0 Guidelines For Developing Digital School


Management Systems
• What to consider when developing a digital school
management system for Africa.
• Technical requirements of a digital school management
system

3.0 Guidelines For Operating Digital School


Management Systems
• What school owners need to know and do.
• What developers need to know and do.
• What managers or consultants need to know and do

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


4.0 Fighting Competitors
• How to fight developer competitors
• How to fight vendor/marketing competitors
• How to fight school owners/manger competitors.

5.0 Overcoming The African Factor

• Overcoming power challenges


• Overcoming parents and teachers reluctance to adapt

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.0
WHAT IS A DIGITAL SCHOOL
MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

T
he digital school management system is a set of
program(s) that is developed solely for the
purpose of simplifying and enhancing
managerial processes of an educational institution.
The traditional school management process is comprised
of a combination of simple and cumbersome tasks
performed by the school owner/administrative staff,
These duties which are hitherto been performed
manually, employing the use of books, handwritten data,
calculators, paper reports hand delivered memos or
notices etc, can now be comprehensively handled with a
little knowledge of the computer system and just a little
will or desire on the part of the school owner to explore
beyond her “comfort zone”.

The desire here is very important for a place like


Africa and Nigeria in particular where you still find large
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
schools including small and medium sized corporate
institutions being run completely off the internet. In fact,
some school owners are either too uninformed to
integrate a digital system or skeptical and reluctant to
take the step.
When interviewed, a number of them agreed that they
were aware of the immense benefits it presents but
complained that they were already above budget and so
couldn’t afford to take on a new project which may
involve purchase of new computers and an internet
source even as basic as a dongle stick (modem). On the
other hand, enlightened school directors and mangers
actually make ICT inclusion a priority and therefore set
aside reasonable time and resources towards making it a
part of their school’s processes ab-initio. This is our
Africa.

Simply put a digital school management system refers to


the use of computers and the internet to make managing a
school easier. Mention any task or duty performed by a

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


school admin today, and it is easy to see how a computer
can enhance it. We shall review these applications and
benefits in the coming sections, but now lets us see who
develops a digital school management system, who
integrates it for a school and who uses it in the school.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.1 Who Creates A Digital School Management
System?

A digital school management system is usually a content


management software, developed by a team of
programmers using a number of programming languages.
It can take anywhere between six (6) months to six (6)
years and above to finish and it usually requires updates
periodically to allow for shifting industry trends.
A computer programmer or software Engineer is a
person who has been trained formally in the science of
creating computer software for several purposes.
As we know, there are computer software for almost
every sphere of life and industry. In entertainment they
have (Virtual DJ, Video editor, etc). In statistics they
have (SPSS), in office management we have Microsoft
office suite and so on.

The digital school management system is a general name


for any software designed specifically for the purpose of
improving the managerial processes of a school; it is
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
usually given a name by the patenting company for
branding and distribution purposes. Any software
Engineer with a good team and the right brief can
develop good school management software and many of
them already exist, a simple internet search will serve to
show this.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.2 Who Integrates A Digital School Management
System

When a software is developed by the software Engineer


and his team or even before it is set out to be developed,
there must be a business potential for it. And wherever
there is a business potential, there is an investor.
Companies actually commission and customize
software Engineers to develop full-fledged software for
their internal operations. In the case of schools, there are
educational consultancy agencies or firms that take up
the task of financing the software development from the
scratch and see it through to completion. Such firms are
interested in the economic potential of such software
when applied to educational institutions within their
reach.
Schools enter into understanding with such companies
or their representative towards installation, training and
maintenance of the software on their behalf. This means
that usually the people who deal directly with the school
authorities are not the actual Engineers who developed
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
the software. They are usually the business development
personnel of the team. Their task is to oversee the
smooth implementation and operation of the software for
a wide range of clients. Typically they have technical
and administrative staff under their employ, who visit
the schools regularly to assist with any issues arising
from the use of the software.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.3 Who Uses The Digital School Management
System

When the software has been integrated as part of the


management process of a school, A training is usually
required. The school owners and their administrative
staff are educated on how to use the new system, This is
very crucial to the smooth take-off of the system. Where
distance does not allow for a physical training, a virtual
alternative must be adopted.
Many times when marketers convince school
owners to sign a contract, with the distributors / vendor,
if this training is not properly executed, there is a
negative feedback from the teachers and parents who are
the ultimate end-users of the application. The
administrative staff of a school, the students and their
parents are the principal users of a digital school
management system. Efforts at understanding the
individual needs of these groups of users and providing
for them in the school management application is what

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


continues to differentiate one software (app) from
another.

Software software
software branding intergation for
Delopment distribution enrolled schools

Training support
services by schools take-off
perodic upgrades
corporate implementation
distribution

Fig: flowchart of a digital school Management System

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Board of Investors /
Directors

Chief operating officer

Program Coordinators

Technical Administrative
managers managers

Programmers Graphic Media Marketing Secretary Editors


designers

Fig: Organogram for a single unit software distribution and management


outfit.

Where operations are spread across multiple geographical regions, this


OrganogramDigitalrepresents the functional
School Management parts of a Guide
Systems – A comprehensive single deployment
location and can be scaled up accordingly.
1.4 At What Stage Of Managing A School Is A
Digital System Required?

The answer is at the beginning, wherever possible. When


starting out with your plans and vision for your small,
medium or large sized educational institution, that is time
to decide on whether or not to embrace ICT.

In these parts (Africa) where people start schools as


family business, just for the purpose of earning a
livelihood, having typically little knowledge of school
management process, it is easy to see why they tend to
prefer starting out without ICT simply to keep away from
what they do not fully understand.

The earlier in the beginning of a school, the easier it is to


integrate a digital school management system,
Sometimes however, Where it is impossible or due to
financial or other constraints to commence operations ab-
initio with a digital system, It is still possible to
implement at a later time provided you are resolved to

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


take on the herculean task of digitizing all previous
information.

Sometimes, the software distributors offer to help


such schools with this process as a means of encouraging
them to buy software or sign up for their services.
Where this is the case, It is important to do so, in
conjunction with staff of the school to avoid errors, and
demystify the entire process. When the school staff
participate in the digitization process, It facilitates the
smooth transitioning of the school from analogue to the
digital system.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.5 THE BENEFITS

The entire process from development, to integration and


operation of a digital school management system is a win
– win - win. There is something in it for everyone. In
this section we shall analyze what each of the parties
stands to benefit.

1.5.1 Benefits For The School

Enquiries – with the help of a website, Students and


Parents would not need to come in person to your School
to make any enquiries. And if they need to talk to any
customer representative, their contact details will be
available on the website.

Wider reach – the website advertises your School and


makes people gain access and knowledge of what is done
there from anywhere in the world. This increases the
number of students the school will keep gaining over

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


time. The website also displays the address of your
School via an embedded Google map for driving and
walking directions so that your School will be found
easily by first time visitors.

School Fees Payments – with the help of the website,


Students and Parents from anywhere can make payments
for School Fees completely online using a debit or a
master card from anywhere in the world. You will
receive the credit alert and then do the proper
documentation.

Improved Accuracy And Efficient Management Of


Your School: Your website helps you keep track of your
School from anywhere. This means you no longer have
to worry about dubious staff who may falsify payment
information or class students information for cheap gains.
Tasks that were previously done manually are now
digitised and hence documentable.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Improved Students and Parents Experience – A
website helps your School improve the overall
experience for Students, parents, teachers and the public.
Things are easier and they also have a feeling of being
part of the I.C.T movement.

Information Sharing and Management – the website


helps you pass across any new updates to your Students
and Parents easily. Your information or updates are
displayed on your website, it can be made a priority.

Publishing Results – as a school, with the help of a


website you can easily collate the results of your students
on the website with the help of the easy interface, the
results of these students will be uploaded on the website,
and they will be able to check it any time. It will reduce
the stress undergone when `the collation is done
manually; and also reduce the rate at which results get
missing. Each student can have their individual profile on

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


the website, which they will log into to check for their
results

Publishing Academic Materials – Assignments,


Textbooks, Class Syllabus, Timetables e.t.c can be
uploaded on the school website, so the students can
downloaded them at home from anywhere. A resources
sections can also be added to the website, including:
documents, videos, images, presentations.

Staff management – the website can also serve as a


platform to manage your staffs. in terms of Staff log-in
and log-out as well as Result uploads by Staff as at when
due.

Parent-Staff interaction – Parents that don’t have the


time to attend some meetings organized by your school
can actually log into the website and have a live

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


conversation for free with your Staff. This platform also
makes any information from the school reach the parents
live if they won’t be able to make it to the meeting.

❖ For more on the benefits for schools see section on


technical features of a digital school management system.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.5.2 Benefits For The Developer

As we saw earlier, creating a software is no simple task,


The team of developers who produce this ‘golden egg’
must be commensurately remunerated.
This remuneration should be in two ways, Financial and
copyright. There must be processes in place to protect the
intellectual property (the product) from unauthorized use,
duplication, transfer, editing or dismantling as much as
there must be financial gratification for the time and
resources spent on the project.
Where the development team, is an in-house
department of the distribution or educational consultancy
company, the rights of copyright ownership belong to the
company, considering the fact that they most likely
funded the development process and are also financing
the marketing and distribution. Terms of contract entered
with the individual developers who are employees of the
company would serve to handle the extents of such
rights.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


However, where the educational consultancy firm (the
marketing / distribution company) is different from the
development team, the rights remains as granted by the
developer. It is important that both parties have a written
agreement clearly describing the clauses that represent
their business partnership, and each keep a copy in their
files.

See (appendix 1: a typical memorandum of


understanding between a software development company
and an educational consultancy outfit)

In both cases, the benefits for the developer are tied to a


percentage of the dividends from the sales or subscription
of the product as initially agreed. It could come in form
of employee benefits or the royalty system.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


1.5.3 Benefits for the Educational Consultants

The educational consultant is the go-between agent that


brings the software and it’s developer to the school’s
doorstep. It is usually a corporate outfit with staff
strength of 5-20 people for a particular location.

When they participate in the chain of software


distribution, they help the development team to reach a
wider market because they are well positioned as a
marketing / distribution and management outfit. This
distribution service, no doubt, requires investment of
resources and therefore deserves to be compensated. The
benefits for the consultancy firm comes ultimately from
the sales and subscription of the software hence it is a
business that entails selling as many units as possible or
developing creative ways of monetizing the application.

Because the role of the consultant sometimes extends to


training and management, they usually charge a premium
for those services.
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
2.0
GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING A DIGITAL
SCHOOL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR
AFRICAN SCHOOLS

A
lmost everything we do in Africa is
influenced by our rich and strong cultural
diversity and the digital school management
system is not left out.
While developing digital school management software
tailored for the African community, one must take into
consideration, the socio-economic and environmental
factors inherent in the particular locality as well as
opportunities for future global scale-up.
This chapter highlights some of the commonest
considerations to be made as well as the fundamental
technical requirements for the software. It is intended to
serve as guide for developers.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.1 What To Consider When Developing A Digital
School Management System
❖ The mindset of parents
❖ The mindset of school owners
❖ The mode of monetization
❖ The prevalent educational system
❖ The mode of deployment i.e web based or desktop
❖ Futuristic possibilities

2.1 .1 The Mindset Of Parents


Put yourself in their shoes, literally, what would you love
to be able to do if you had access to such a system?
Parents of the school pupils are the ultimate end buyers
of your software, so you must ensure your software
offers them amazing value for their money.

2.1.2 The Mindset Of School Owners

School owners would rather continue with their current


analogue processes than venture into any cost intensive
project that does not clearly improve her financial

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


potential within the shortest time possible. Bearing this
mind, your design must show beyond reasonable doubt
that this factor is covered.

2.1.3 The Mode Of Monetization


How will you charge for your product? How will you
keep track of users? How will you cut off piracy, illegal
transfer, etc these factors will influence your program
design from the start.

2.1.4 Prevalent Educational System


Every society has a unique education system endorsed by
the government and practiced by both state-owned and
private owned schools. It is important that you study the
academic calendar, the method of classroom – teacher
assignment and the internal management system of
schools as these influence the design of a digital school
management software.

2.1.5 Mode Of Deployment

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Web apps may have more advantages over desktop
versions or vice-versa. Decide ab-initio what yours
would be while considering the ease of accessibility and
monitoring presented by online based systems.

2.1.6 Futurist Possibilities


No software can last forever without needing updates.
You must make room for this in your program. Make
your system dynamic enough to allow for upgrades as
they become necessary. A good way to do this is to
design your program to accept future updates as plug-ins
or widgets that can be installed or mounted or uninstalled
when the demand arises.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2
FUNCTIONAL REQUIRMENTS OF A DIGITAL
SCHOOL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

This section deals with detail information on what is


expected of a school management software. It is divided
into sections called templates thus;
I. Template for website Development
II. Template for portal Development
III. Template for accompanying ICT
Training
IV. Template for Managing clients (schools)
V. Template for marketing
VI. Template for Monetization
VII. Template for Disengaging clients
VIII. Template for Media works

2.2.1 Template For Website Development


The following items should be provided for while
designing a school website;
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
• A conspicuous sized school logo – design one if it
does not already exist.
• School name displayed in full on home page.
• Tabs should read, [AboutUs], [our facilities],
[portal / log in], [News], [Contact us] [Gallery],
[Admission]. Nb: Where the school has sub-
divisions such as crèche, nursery, primary etc
include a tab reading [Our schools] with a drop
down listing the different sections. You may also
adopt an upfront separation using a landing page.
• News display section on the homepage - editable
from user dashboard.
• An email subscription form, for newsletter,
accessible from user dashboard for one touch
email forwarding.
• An Awards / prize Winners section on the
homepage showing pictures of pupils or students
who have attained outstanding achievement -
editable from user dashboard.
• Director’s welcome note: Showing a picture of the
school director, proprietress (or both) and a short
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
message intended for site visitors and parents, -
editable from user dashboard.
• A full-width web slider: Showing minimum of
five (5) school pictures animated with multiple
style j-script to entertain the site visitors.
• An introductory write up about the school: With a
(Read more) link leading to the (About Us) page.
• Why we stand out: Showing image and a little
write up with a link to the Admission page.
• Footer section: The school address, email, phone
numbers and a Google map pinned down to their
location. Other relevant information, and
hyperlinks to the same tabs mentioned above .
• Copyright information: Web portal powered by
Cadright ICT. With a backlink leading to the
consultant’s or developer’s website.
• A (return –to- top) arrow.
• Social media icons leading to facebook, youtube
and instagram handles of the school.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• The school should be enrolled on google
mybusiness listing to improve their discoverability
on Google search engine.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.2 Template For Portal Development

The portal side or the dashboard for a school should have


the following salient features amongst others:

For The Administrator Of The School:


• Send email to all parents or selected and edit or
delete buttons
• Send SMS to all parents or selected and edit or
delete buttons
• Register new child /Assignment to class and edit or
delete buttons
• Register new teacher/Assignment to class and edit
or delete buttons
• School fees payment and confirmation system.
• News update to publish information to the front
end and parents dashboard and edit or delete
buttons.
• Prize winner and Awards update and edit or delete
buttons
• Result uploading, interactive or static – subject to
administrator’s approval and edit or delete buttons
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
• Curriculum or scheme of work upload section that
allows teacher to upload scanned copy or type in
the class curriculum or scheme of work.
• An Assignment upload section that allows the
teacher upload assignment daily, for his / her
particular class.
• Pick up identity number for each child, changed
every week for security purpose.
• Accounts section : income and expenditure
(optional / plug-in)
• Computer based testing system (optional / plug-in)
• A table showing list of all students by classes and
edit or delete buttons
• A table showing list of all staff by roles and edit or
delete buttons
• School calendar for the term; editable and
displayed in administrator and parents dashboard.

For The Parents And Students


A user dashboard where one can view all his information
as updated by the school administrator.
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
Change username and password
View in- messages / emails.
View assignments.
View results (pin required)
View school calendar for the term.
View student information.
Complaint form; that sends messages direct to school
administrators dashboard.
View news of upcoming event uploaded by admin
View academic resources such as curriculum or scheme
of work uploaded by administrator or teacher.
View payment status as checked or marked by
administrator.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.3 Template For Marketing
Educational consultants are often the soles marketers of a
digital school management system. They typically have
an understanding with the software developers and his
team aimed towards marketing and distribution.

The following should guide the marketing process;

• Proper training and education of field agents


before dispatch. Training should reflect; Aim of
the project, objectives to aid the actualization,
answers to frequently asked questions, definition
and application of key concepts, mode of dressing
and principles of business ethics.
• Expression of interest (form) to be completed by
an interested school.
• Demo presentation for the administrator of the
school should follow on the appointed date.
• Free resources and paid services are identified,
with free resources implemented first in order to
encourage them to sign up.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• The school signs up for the preferred service via a
memorandum of understanding.
• The technical team resumes the integration process
in liaison with the management team.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.4 Template For Accompanying ICT Training

After integration, the educational consultant schedules a


free training workshop for the school administrative staff
to educate them on how to operate and maintain the new
system.
For such training to be effective, the following must be
done;
• A proper communication channel between the
school directors and the consultants must be
maintained towards fixing an appointment for the
training date. Trainings done without a proper
appointment tend to be regarded with less
importance and do not achieve the intended goal.
• Consultants must inform the school before hand on
what is expected to be covered by the proposed
training as well as need for any special preparation
towards provision of power supply, space, data etc
ahead of time.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Consultants must appear in corporate attire and
must expose company I.D during the training.

Training may last between 2-5 hours and must cover the
following subheadings;
✓ Accessing the D.S.M.S via PC and mobile.
✓ Guidelines to uploading and editing data on the
portal.
✓ Relationship between the D.S.M.S and social
media: how to crosslink and share posts for
marketing purposes.
✓ Benefits of the D.S.M.S to the school (financial).
✓ Benefits of the D.S.M.S to the school (social).
✓ Benefits of the D.S.M.S to the school (work).
✓ How to educate the parents on the new system:
guidelines for smooth integration.

• Issuance of a completion certificate to be duly


signed and stamped by the school authority,
returned to the office for filing.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.5 Template For Managing A Digital School
Management System

After a digital school management system has been


installed for a school and the accompanying trainings
done, the management part of the contract kicks off. The
management of the system is handled by the educational
consultant (independent) or the developer’s software
administration department.

Managing the system includes but is not limited to the


following;
• Frequent updates/upgrades to accommodate for
circumstantial requirements at least once a year.
• Frequent scheduled visits to the schools to pick up
recent material for updates at least once a month.
see fig.03 : schedule of contacts for a typical
school term which lasts for average of three(3)
months.
• Prompt response to distress calls from the school.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Attending the school’s major functions such as
P.T.A meetings, etc to enforce the presence of the
ICT firm as part of the family.
• Having and documenting contact details of key
personnel in the school, for the purpose of keeping
in touch for dissemination.
• Supply of the programmed scratch cards for result
checking as at when due.
• Issuing of receipt for all payments received from
the schools (s).
• Frequent scheduled social media updates for
schools who sign up for social media management,
• No dealings with parents in any form, all
correspondence must be unilateral, between the
school authorities and the consultants.

SEPT WEEK 2 WEEK 4

OCT WEEK 2 WEEK 4 (PAY DAY)

NOV WEEK 2 WEEK 4

Fig 03: Schedule of contacts for every term

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.6 Template for Monetization
Monetizing a digital school management system is the
ultimate goal of the software developer, the educational
consultant and the school owner.

The following should influence the decision towards the


method of monetization:
• Use a timing system that corresponds with the
known education system. Let your client know
ahead of time that they will be billed at that time.
• Bill your client in the accepted local currency of
the country. Consider the prevalent as well as
project economics standard, while fixing a pricing
for your software.
• Your billing system must conform smoothly to the
way your client’s revenue is collected to ensure
extraction of your due at source or as agreed.
• Where cash collection as agreed, receipt must be
issued to client when collected.
• Physical contact with the school (client) should be
made at least once in a month followed with a
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
virtual one either by telephone, email, SMS or
others.

SCHEDULE OF CONTACTS FOR EVERY TERM

SEPT WEEK 2 WEEK 4

OCT WEEK 2 WEEK 4 (PAY DAY)

NOV WEEK 2 WEEK 4

Fig 03: Schedule of contacts for every term

• Dealing directly with parents is strictly advised


against. All correspondence leading to payment
must remain between the school authority and the
software developer or educational consultant.
Things are a lot tidier that way.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Options available to school owners for monetization of
their digital school management system:
• Acceptance of paid adverts on the school’s official
website, mostly by parents who have wards in the
school.
• Re-sale of result checking pins to the parents after
adding premium to the charge.
• Conducting charged training in the specialized
areas of the program eg computer based tests, and
other software packages as holiday programs for
interested students.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.7 Template for Disengaging Clients

When the relationship between the educational consultant


and a school (the client) becomes irreparably
compromised, the following guidelines should be
adhered to in dissolving the Memorandum of
understanding;

• A written letter of dissatisfaction shall suffice to


express the displeasure by either party.
• Efforts, human and financial shall be exhausted
toward resolving the differences.
• Where this fails, issues should be referred to
higher program manager / coordinator who will
also exhaust all possibilities at resolving said
matter.
• In the event that all efforts fail, the notice of
disengagement shall be forwarded to the school
authority duly signed by senior coordinator.
• An official meeting shall be held and the school
shall declare her stance on the matter.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Service suspension shall follow where the outcome
of such meeting is unfavorable or not in tandem
with the goals / objectives of both parties.
• Where the dissolution is between an educational
consultant and any of her sub-consultants the same
procedure toward redress shall be adopted.
• Where the outcome of such meeting is unfavorable
or not in tandem with the goals/objectives of the
both parties, the third party consultant shall
relinquish all client(s) materials in the her custody
and shall do so in record time to enable the prime
consultant do the needful (re-assign) the project.
• Only top level program coordinator and school
administrator shall conduct the process of
disengagement.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.8 Template for Social Media Marketing

Since everyone is on one social network or the other, it


makes perfect sense to advertise your business on social
platforms in order to take advantage of the large number
of users who may find your post and become interested
in your services.

For schools, the decision to maintain social media


accounts in the name of the school should be made by the
management of the school. When this happens you can
also decide whether to manage those accounts internally
or to outsource that task to your educational consultants.
Some consultants charge for this service, while others
render it as a value added service accompanying the
administration of the digital school management system.

From experience, facebook, instagram, whatsapp and


youtube are the most effective social platforms that
provide the highest marketing results for schools.

When a school decides to outsource the creation and


management of their social media accounts for the

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


purpose of publicity, the following key points should
guide the agreement:

• The frequency of updates must be indicated.


• The chosen platforms should be identified.
• The terms i.e whether it will be a paid service or a
value added one.
• If paid, the mode of payment and the amount to be
paid as well as the frequency.
• The ultimate goal should be clear. I.e. whether it is
simply toward maintaining visibility online or for
rigorous targeted marketing.
• The extent of roles should be defined, i.e. whether
absolute or shared roles.

This section explains what is expected of an educational


consultant when she has been mandated by a school
owner to manage her social media account.

• Assign an administrator from within the company;


obtain administrative privileges from the previous
administrator where accounts already exist.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Draw up schedule for making posts. This should
be standardized and adhered to religiously.

School Frequency Social Time of post


Name of update platforms

Fig 04: Template for Schedule of social media posts

• Boosted posts should be occasional as agreed


upon.
• Published, phone, email, fax, or physical addresses
must at all times be those of the school. On no
account should consultant be identified as different
from the client.
• Each post must include a picture, a short
description text, and a contact detail i.e either a
link to the client’s website, a phone number, an
email address or equivalent.
• Content to be published should necessarily be
reviewed and approved by editor or appointed
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
personnel before publishing to ensure it confirms
to media and industry ethics.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.2.9 Template for Media Works

Media works refer to photography, video coverage,


editing work, and web graphics. Often these are
inseparable from web design and development.

The following principles should be adhered to when


carrying out media coverage and delivery towards web
development for schools:

• Photographs for schools may be arranged to be


covered by an independent photographer.
• Existing school pictures in softcopy should be
transferred to the web development company by
the administrator of the school.
• Where the web developer has an in-house media
team, they may visit the school to capture specific
images and videos as well as conduct interviews
that will be used on the site.
• Pictures covered in this situation must be used only
for the purpose for which it was taken and may be
made available to the school at no cost.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
3.0

GUIDELINES FOR OPERATING DIGITAL


SCHOOL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

3.1 What School Owners Need To Know and Do

When your school has been successfully enrolled for a


digital school management system and the accompanying
training is done, it is time for you to settle in and start
using the system to improve your operations.

Like every other meaningful venture, it requires time


to sink in. As the school owner or administrator, it is
important that you lead the way in enforcing the gradual
shift to the digital system of doing things in your
institution. Your academic and non-academic staff may
tend to put up some resistance at first, but you must make
it clear, that the system has come to stay.

Because the teachers come and go, the school owner /


administrator is usually the sole enforcer and here are a
few things you should know:
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
• Give it time

Your new system is like a new car, no matter how flashy


and efficient it is, you have to actually drive it to find out.
You must start using your new digital system at once,
don’t think the system will perform some magic to fix all
your issues in one click. Devote time to imbibe the
functions in your everyday work and notice how clear
you table becomes and how fulfilled you become day
after day.

• Word spreads

When you have decided to go digital, and taken the step


to actually integrate it, it won’t be long before word
about it gets out. In no time, you will notice an increase
in enquiries and ultimately patronage.

• Carry your parents along:

Arrange for a P.T.A meeting where you can invite the


educational consultants to give a presentation on the new

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


digital system and how it works. Your customers (the
parents) will be happy to learn that you are thinking this
way and would instinctively support it.

• Give your parents the opportunity to advertise


their business on the website :

This is an easy way to make them feel belonging and also


make some money from your new system.

• Know what you want:

As they say, if you don’t know what you want , then you
will be tossed around by every wind of life. You must
set the limits yourself. I.C.T should not govern you, but
it should improve your processes. Discuss in detail with
your I.C.T service provider (educational consultants) on
what exact services should be provided for in your own
system. Know what you want and show your parents
(your clients) that you are sure about it.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


3.2 What Software Developers And Consultants Need
To Know And Do :

Developing a great software is good enough, but without


a standardized distribution and marketing system, it may
be under-used.

Furthermore, one user who is satisfied with your product


can open the door to ten (10) more. Don’t chase after
amassing unsatisfied clients, but focus on serving the one
customer. Refer to the section of managing a digital
school management system for ideas on how to achieve
this.

The following will also help you;

• Make your software irresistibly relevant and


addictive
• Leave room for updates , i.e
• Make it dynamic, not static.
• Think about ways to improve your product always.
• Brand it, and standardize your product.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Offer different pricing packages to cater to a wide
range of customers.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


4.0
FIGHTING COMPETITORS

Every good product, industry/service or venture has to


deal with competition at some point. Remember word
spreads quickly. Either by association or publicity,
people will eventually hear about what you are doing.
Among them would be your potential customers, your
competitors, government tax people and so on. Anyone
and everyone could be listening when you air your
adverts, and there is no way to tell who they are, you
only hope that more potential customers than competitors
would hear.

4.1 Fighting Competition From Other Schools - For


The School Owner;
Schools that choose to integrate a digital school
management system, (D.S.M.S ) naturally stand out from
the crowd. By merely letting people know in your adverts
that you have such facility in place, you are clearly

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


drawing the line for a battle against those who do not
have such.

Even amongst schools who also use one form of


D.S.M.S or another, competitions is stiff. However it is
the human face that you add to the software that makes
the difference.

The way you administer your school management


software to parents and students goes a long way in
deciding whether they stay with your school or not.

For instance, two schools both have a one-click bulk


SMS sending feature in their software, they both send out
SMS to their clients (the parents) about a coming event.
One develops the culture to always follow it up with a
call or at least an email, to all the parents and a reminder
note in the news section of the system while the other
does not. In the long run, although both schools have the
same digital school management system, installed, the
influence they each precipitate from the their customers
differ largely.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


For the one who adds a human side to the software, it
translates to more patronage and dormancy for the other.

Thus, the best and most effective way to rise above


competition in the school business is to focus on
customer relationship, devise creative means of carrying
your parents along in the use of the system and help them
see that you have invested time and resources constantly
to serving them better using the system.

Second, advise your software developer or the


educational consultants on what new features you would
like the system to have according to prevailing
circumstances in order to serve your customers better and
ensure that they integrate it. Note however that certain
updates may be considered as upgrades and may be
charged for.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


4.2 Fighting Competition From Other Educational
Consultants.

For educational consultants who manage digital school


systems, the competition comes in terms of the number
of schools they are able to secure and keep. The
competition is stiff because there are a lot of educational
consultants marketing many different products to a lot of
school owners. They all claim to offer the same service
if not more.

However, if you desire to keep the schools you already


have intact as well as land many more, simply adopt the
formular :

“split your resources into marketing and


customer care in the same ratio with the same
amount of energy and equal amounts of
importance”.

The marketing arm will land you more clients (schools).


The customer care arm will help you maintain them.
School owners sadly do not measure the performance of
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
a D.S.M.S by the awesome features it boasts, they can
hardly even tell the difference. Rather they often tend to
measure their performance from the quality of customer
care they receive from the consultants’ team

-Refer to the template for management of a D.S.M.S, to see


guidelines on how to maintain top notch service delivery for
schools.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


4.3 Fighting Competition From Software
Developers

For software developers, the bulk of the competition rests


in the amount of time one is willing to devote to his
work; two programmers may possess the same skill, but
yet produce two largely different qualities of work, based
on the amount of time and devotion they each invest in
the job.

Furthermore, software that does not perform the basic


function for which it was developed is worse than a
waste. You must think like the user when you develop
software and endeavor to provide for all possible
scenarios in the loop of operations. Proper debugging,
and test running are inevitable to ensure maximum
efficiency. We are happy and satisfied when they we use
an app that solves the problem it was meant to solve
correctly, each time. We are even happy to recommend
such software to a friend when we are certain that it
works each time.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Competitors who develop parallel or similar apps can
only hope that one day yours would make a mistake or
miss something somewhere which they can take
advantage of.

Don’t let that happen!

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


5.0

OVERCOMING THE AFIRCAN FACTOR

5.1 Overcoming Africa’s Power Challenges

N
o doubt this is a common challenge with
African start-ups and companies. It is almost
impossible to run any business efficiently
without a reliable source of power supply. For the school
owner, this becomes very pertinent when using a digital
school management system because of it’s reliance on
the use of computers and mobile devices that need power
to work.

Two ways a school owner can manage this situation are:

• Allow teachers to upload information from


anywhere; this removes the burden of having to
necessarily provide every staff with a steady power
supply within the school premises.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


• Provide power and data for uploads at known
scheduled periods within the school premises. All
staff will be required to use the school’s computer
lab to upload their data for the day, week, month or
term, with assured power supply provided by a
power-generating machine within that period.

Remember where there is a will, there is always a way,


no matter the challenges.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


5.2 Overcoming Parents/ Teacher’s Reluctance to
Adapt

Li
ke every other thing in life, human beings
are creatures of habit and we find it difficult
to shift from our ‘comfort zone’. Change is
the hardest thing to achieve when it comes to managing
humans, As the school owner, or administrator, after the
decision has been made to integrate a digital school
management system, it is quite a task to enforce it,
especially where it was not provided for from inception
of the school. Parents, who are the end customers of the
product, don’t even understand that they need it.
Afterall, they have gone without it for long enough, some
just think it is an unnecessary addition. Some view it as
a luxury they can’t afford, while others think it is only for
higher levels of education such as secondary and
university.

Teachers on their side are reluctant to do any more work


than they already do. They will try to frustrate the new
system blaming this either on non-functionality, lack of

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


power supply, or non-availability of internet data for
uploads. Others who do not even understand the
workings of the system; will tend to stay clear from using
it until they see a reasonable number of their colleagues
using the system.

As the school owner / administrator, the way to go is to


stand by your decision and enforce it. You must realize
that the benefits of using a digital school management
system far outweigh its challenges, and you must keep
your eye on a future where your school will proudly be
among the pioneers and trail blazers of ICT inclusion in
education.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


For this reason, the following roadmap is developed to
guide you on convincing your customers (the parents);

Announce the introduction of your new


D.S.M.S to parents and teachers.

Request their review and feedback. Allow ample


time for this and devise an easy way of collecting
it.

Thank everyone for their feedback and effect necessary


system adjustments with your educational consultants /
developer.

Train your staff and hold an expose’ for parents on the workings
of the new system

Start using the system, to prove its relevance and never look
back

Reflect this relevance in school fees, and enforce its payment.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Don’t be scared of losing your customer’s (the parents
and their wards), because they won’t go. They will stay
with you because they can see how hard you and your
staff are working to give their wards a sound academic
experience and they’ll appreciate that a lot.

5.2.1 Choose A Suitable Payment Option

Educational consultants usually offer schools more than


one payment method / plan for paying off the software
costs, this may be monthly, termly, annually, per
installation basis etc As the school owner, you should
consider an option that suits your current size. The option
may be changed in future when you feel so. You must
understand that getting a digital school management
system for your school is to be treated as an investment;
investments are made in the present in view of a future
that will be brighter.

Never fall into the delusion common with Africans of


thinking only for today. Your school is going to be there
for a long haul, so you need to integrate a D.S.M.S to
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
help you manage it, when you can no longer keep
physical record of everything. Do it now for your
tomorrow. Bear in mind when selecting a payment
package, the option that best reflects or aligns with your
customer’s earning capacity and mode of payment.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


Appendix
1.0
OFFICIAL CONTRACT
BETWEEN
CADRIGHT GLOBAL RESOURCES
&
____________________________________
_________
TOWARDS CREATION &
MANAGEMENT OF A SCHOOL
WEBSITE/PORTAL

DATED THIS DAY_______DAY OF


_________18
PREPARED BY
OKORO JORDAN ESQ.
Canaan Law Office Suite B5,
2nd Floor, Peace MFB building
35, Ajose Adeougun Str, Utako,
Abuja

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


THE OFFER
We will develop a fully functional digital management system
for your school FREE-OF-CHARGE. The features mentioned
under the ‘Standard School Site’ and ‘Academic Portal’ above
will take effect for your school once ready. You do not have to pay
anything upfront for this service. We will also provide you with the
free accompanying ICT Training to ensure that you understand
how to manage your newly built system. Social media
management is an optional service.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


IF YOU OPT-IN FOR THESE SERVICES

The delivery of these services to your school is deemed to be


coupled based on a termly Subscription basis or in exchange for a
monthly service fee. The termly plan bills the school on per-child
basis. It is usually placed at N500.00 / child/ term while the
monthly plan bills the school N10,200 monthly for the period of
the contract.

TERMS OF CONTRACT

This contract represents the business agreement reached between,


CADRIGHT GLOBAL RESOURCES hereafter referred to as
CADRIGHT &
______________________________________________________
_____________________ hereafter referred to as THE SCHOOL.

1.0 CADRIGHT shall design a fully functional digital school


management system for the client and shall maintain same for the
period of this contract.
1.1 The system shall feature elements as stipulated in the templates
above, for the selected category.

2.0 This contract shall subsist for a minimum period of five (5)
years from the date of its reaching. It is subject to renewal based on
the client's instruction which shall be in writing. The service fees
may be reviewed after this period to allow for circumstantial
requirements at the time.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


2.1 The system shall be solely administered by Cadright Staff in
conjunction with the school's I.T unit and any other relevant body
or bodies that are in agreement with her.

3.0 Cadright ICT shall not be liable for any misappropriation of


funds or loss of business due to carelessness or failure to furnish
her with correct and necessary data for the web-office.

4.0 Payment for the termly service renewal is due at least one (4)
weeks from the date of resumption of a new academic term /
session. In the event of your failure to renew the service as at when
due, service suspension shall follow.

4.1 In this situation, (Cadright Global Resources) shall not be


liable for any loss of business due to server down time.

4.2 Supply of result scratch pins for each term shall be made in
advance to the School management at no additional cost. There
shall be no direct dealings between CADRIGHT and parents.
CADRIGHT shall receive instructions (from the School) as per
additions / removals from the database and shall effect all
necessary system resetting accordingly.

4.3 Payment for our services shall be made into the company
account as shall be provided.
NB: You may also use the secure online payment platform
available on our site. (www.ict.cadrightglobalresources.com)

5.0 CADRIGHT shall create and maintain social media accounts


on the behalf of the Client, towards placement of adverts and posts
as scheduled. The Client shall grant CADRIGHT access to such
accounts if they already exist.
Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide
5.1 Posts and updates shall be scheduled as follows for the
different categories:

Standard Entrepreneur - 2 posts weekly


Business Class - 4 posts weekly
Academic / Professional - 8 posts weekly
Academic Pro - Unlimited posts weekly.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


About The Author

Arc Chukwujindu K. Emmanuel is a


licensed Architect, Writer and Business
minded professional. He holds a
Doctorate degree in Sustainable
Architecture and has worked in several
capacities privately and in collaboration
with senior Associates to deliver several
landmark projects within Nigeria and
beyond.

He is currently a senior partner at Cadright ICT where he and his


team of meticulous professionals are helping shape the future of
the African education system.

Digital School Management Systems – For Emerging Africa is only


one of many titles aimed at Crystallizing his thoughts, in book
form to help others. This work is a product of years of business
experience in the ICT sector and is intended to serve as a guide for
anyone wishing to set up and render educational services to
schools. It is currently the internal operational manual at Cadright
ICT.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide


About Cadright ICT Co.

India | Nigeria | Ghana | Kenya

Cadright ICT, is the indigenous arm of Cadright Global Resources


an ICT firm rendering a wide range of services in the information
and communications technology industry. With head office in
Chennai, India, Our Get-Nigerian-Schools-Online campaign is
aimed at delivering top notch school management services using
ICT as a tool to advance schools in Africa. We are constantly
bringing hope to African Schools through our free-up-front
payment plans.

All you need is the will to make your school standout; and we’ll
show you how.

This book is a program manual developed to guide our service


delivery to our clients in Nigeria and the sub-saharan Africa. It has
quality assurance to the utmost standards as its core.

For more information, you may reach us via:

www.ict.cadrightglobalresources.com
+234(0)81-416-811-89 | +234(0)90-793-618-93
info@cadrightglobalresources.com
Suites C1/C2 Enugu Int. Market, Independence
layout, phase 2, Enugu state, Nigeria.

Digital School Management Systems – A comprehensive Guide