A School ERP, also known as “School Enterprise Resource Planning System,” is a software solution used by schools to digitize essential operations such as administration, admissions, student information, fee management, and other school activities. While the rationale behind deploying an ERP for a school is to expedite it’s day to day functioning involving large amounts of data and information, it is critical for decision makers to understand the details on how to evaluate an excellent ERP from another that is very basic. While there are several ERPs in the market and deployed by schools, only a few ERPs provide depth in functionality that not only automates the entire process but also provides all the required information at the fingertips of the management. At the outset when proposals are submitted, the functional headlines are more or less the same and the decision makers rarely find the gaps due to their inability to dig into the details and map it to their requirements to differentiate between the various proposals and identify the best ERP for their requirements. Hence, they end up deciding the ERP based on the price specified by the vendor, without realizing what they get for the proposed price. This paper aims at identifying some of the key depths that need to be looked at by such decision makers. Let’s go over some of the aspects that the school decision makers must review in detail before deciding on an ERP for its operations.
A STREAMLINED ADMISSION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The admission management system of the ERP must ensure end-to-end automation of the admission process right from downloading of the prospectus and admission forms, to online submission of duly completed applications with scanned copies of relevant documents, followed by online fee payment. This not only eliminates the need to visit the school premises to collect and submit the applications but also saves a significant amount of operational time as the data is already received digitally by the school from the applicant itself along with the relevant documents. The software must aid administrators to electronically verify the student eligibility, and schedule interviews for all the shortlisted candidates and send electronic intimations to the applicants.. During the interview, the interviewer can review all basic data supplied to ensure it is correct and consistent with the documents, as well as the attached certificates, before processing the candidate’s application. An efficient admission management module is known to reduce staff overload by more than 50% at the time of admissions.
DIGITIZATION OF FEE PAYMENT
The fees management module within the ERP enables schools to collect and manage fees online, providing multiple digital payment options to the applicants while maintaining total safety and confidentiality. It allows applicants to pay school fees online seamlessly using a secure Payment Gateway interface, without having to visit the school or their bank and without any paperwork involving challans or submission forms. They can easily use online payment options such as UPI, net banking, and credit/debit card. Fee management software assists school administration in keeping an accurate record of all school fees collected and due. The software must ensure that tuition, management, government, and other fee categories (account heads) can be defined by the administrator for collection for a given year/semester. Each account head must be linked to a bank account, allowing the fee amount to be split and credited to their individual bank accounts without any manual intervention.
Such a module will let a school set up a price structure based on courses and classes. The module must automatically calculate the pending fees, previous fee payment details, deductions and concessions if applicable in addition, there must be flexibility to allow payment in instalments. The system must notify parents about pending fees, send reminders digitally and generate reports. Some of the desired reports are Fees Receipt, Fee Collection Report, Payment Validation Report, and Pending Fees Report.
ATTENDANCE SYSTEM & REPORTING
Manually recording attendance and maintaining an attendance register makes everyday attendance a tedious process for educators and wastes classroom time. To address such inefficient work practices, the School ERP’s digital attendance management solution comes in handy. It automates daily school attendance. It also aids in the maintenance of accurate records and the generation of consolidated student attendance reports. Student attendance may be captured in multiple ways, like issuance of RFID Cards to students, or integration of student biometrics into the ERP, or using an app linked to the school software. In case of any unusual absenteeism, the ERP must trigger email or SMS notifications to the management as well as the parents or guardians to enable timely and relevant actions.
Daily attendance, working hours, breaks, login, and logout time are all tracked by a good attendance management system. All attendance devices, such as smart cards, biometric, and facial recognition devices, can easily be integrated into an attendance management system in real time.
COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A School ERP must have a robust Course Management System (CMS). A CMS is an online learning environment that focuses on content generation, communication, administration, and evaluation. Instructors can use content production tools to post course materials and assignments for students, whereas communication tools allow them to generate course bulletins, emails, discussion forums, and groups. Teachers can use administrative features, adding or removing participants from a course, modify pages or files, and make information available to users. Assessment tools enable teachers to keep track of student activities, prepare tests and surveys, and manage marks using a grade book. Reminders may be sent to parents using push notifications, SMS, or Email to notify them about their ward’s progress on assignments, submission date. The school software can plan school timetables so that there are no clashes of lectures. Furthermore, pupils, teachers, and parents have access to it.
STUDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The ERP Student Management System must address the entire student life cycle, from pre-admission to graduation. It must ensure the accuracy of student data as well as the ready availability of data to the appropriate staff. All of this must be done with the utmost confidence that student records are completely secure. School activity extends beyond the confines of the classrooms. The ERP must be used to generate periodic reports on student conduct or academic track record over the years. Such a report must be used to identify strengths and pitfalls to keep the staff, students, and parents appraised for subsequent encouragement or counselling with remedial steps at the right time. Other activities, such as sports, athletics and extracurricular activities, need adequate documenting. The School Management Software must offer capabilities that monitor this and ensure that each student’s record is complete. The system must archive outstanding achievements and awards won.
EXAM MANAGEMENT & EVALUATION
A student’s academic excellence and performance are evaluated based on the results of examinations, tests, and assignments taken throughout the academic year. Schools now have the option of using Examination Management System software in conjunction with a student exam module, which allows them to not only create but also manage results. The ERP system must verify a student’s eligibility to take tests by looking for any excessive absenteeism or unpaid fees. The next steps will be to set up the roll numbers, manage student seating arrangements, and generate hall tickets online.
This module must be used for tasks such as coding/decoding of registration numbers for security purposes, seating arrangements, and invigilation duties. Once the marks are tabulated and entered into the ERP, results can be computed in real time and announced, providing parents and students with analytics such as class average, percentage, grade, and so on. The final result and corresponding certificates with valid digital signatures must be provided online.
STAFF MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
ERP software must be used to handle personnel details such as personal information, financial information, roles and duties, class and subject assignment, and timetable management. ERP software must also be used to manage staff leaves. The leave application can approved online by the approving authority. An employees’ monthly leaves and total days attended can be leveraged using the attendance management system for calculation of wages.
Manually calculating the days, salary, and producing the wage slip takes time for the administrator. However, with a School ERP system and attendance statistics, must aid in keeping track of attendance, salary, and automation of the payroll management. One of the biggest takeaways of an ERP solution for Schools is that it drastically reduces administration overheads in managing salary computation every month in addition to lesser consumption of paper and stationary. This helps in significant cost savings in procurement, including storage costs for the management apart from being an eco-friendly option.
HOSTEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Hostel facilities are available at several schools. A hostel management system helps handling all operational activities such as hostel admissions, fees, room allocation, mess allocation, and hostel stores and infrastructure. The software must provide reports to ensure seamless transactions, as well as manage monthly mess bill calculation, hostel staff salary, student certificates, and so on.
PARENT – TEACHER COMMUNICATION
Communication between parents and teachers is a vital component that feeds pupils’ learning processes. When parents and instructors communicate with one another, they may share information about accomplishments, behavioral challenges, health issues, and other concerns. Some of the most common methods to contact parents include hurried phone calls, forgotten emails, and tense parent-teacher conferences, but they are not always the most fruitful. The School ERP must solve such difficulties with the integration of mobile apps or SMS services that allow school or faculty to send classroom-related updates or reminders about things they need to do. Additionally, the ERP must ensure complete visibility to:
- Attendance: Visibility to attendance status of their child & notifications received from the teachers related to the attendance.
- Report Card: Parents can view the progress report of their child
- Notices & Circulars: Institution notices & circulars through the App on a timely basis
- Homework / Assignments: Visibility to Homework/Assignments assigned their Child by getting information through SMS and notification
- Fees Payment / History: Parents must get the payment history and the reminders for the installments.
- Child Profile: Visibility to their child’s profile and updates on the class they are enrolled in.
- Videos: Provision to view all the videos sent from the Institution.
- Institution Gallery: Parents can view the event photographs sent by the Institution.
In today’s competitive world, ERP software must serve as a foundation for an educational institution’s success. The software has the potential to significantly improve school administration, staff and student performance and productivity. PACIFYCA, by ATC ONLINE is a paperless automation software solution (ERP) for contemporary schools and educational institutions that covers most of the functions in depth as specified in this paper. It allows the institution’s day-to-day activities to run smoothly, quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Our ERP suite is a simple yet powerful one-point integrated platform that symphonizes all critical entities of an institute. For more information, please visit us at: https://atconline.biz/products/pacifyca-school-management-system/