Saturday, 29 September 2012

Challenges of School Administration - Post 1

This blog series on “The Challenges of School Administration” would try to put forward the current hurdles and issues being faced by School Administration.


1: Student Admission

The Process:

Typically the school admission process consists of the following steps:

  1. The registration window opens and the Registration/Application Forms are made available in schools or can be downloaded from the school website.

  2. Parents fill the form and send them to schools (they drop the form personally by going to the school or courier it) along with paying the registration fee by DD in most cases. 

  3. The school administrative process starts after the last date of submission of Application Forms.  
    • School Administrative Department collects the forms and sends them to the Admission Department.  
    • The Admission Department has the tough job of going through the information of each child and based on the selection criteria, the school has defined, check if the child is eligible. Further filtering might be performed to shortlist around 1/3rd of the applicants for interview. 
    • Personal interview is conducted for each of the shortlisted candidate & his/her parents; And the school finally prepares a list of the selected children.
  1. Selected child and his/her parents are invited to fill out the Admission Form and to submit all other necessary documents to complete the admission process. 
  2. This form is provided to the school data entry operator and details are filled into the “School Administration Software”.


The Challenges we see:

The Registration Problem
  • When does the registration process for the school starts since it varies from school to school?
  • How and from where does a parent obtain the school admission form? These days for few schools they are available on the internet, but for others they are still to be collected from school and then filled and submitted.
  • Ahh....the Registration form fee submission..! This involves a painful process of making a DD (demand draft). Think about it, when a parent needs to apply to multiple schools. Believe us, getting a DD done is not easy. :)

Consider a typical scenario where a school receives 1000 application forms and only 100 students would be taken. Filtering is applied and around 300 students are called for personal interview with their parents and finally from these the school selects its 100 students.

The Selection Problem
  • Manually going through all the 1000 applications and checking if the child satisfies the criteria, put forth by the school: This is a time consuming and tedious job which might take a couple of weeks’ effort.
  • Selecting the 1/3rd of students from the filtered list: Consider if 600 students satisfy the criteria laid and only 300 are to be called for interview. In that case schools have to further refine the criteria and need to go through the 600 forms again for further filtration.
  • Storing these forms for posterity so they can be retrieved quickly when required (for official and legal purposes).  

The Data Entry Problem
  • Taking these lengthy humanly filled admission forms and entering the data in “School Administration system” software which would store it to a database.  
  • Same problem was mentioned earlier, i.e to store the forms for posterity so that they can be retrieved quickly when required (for official and legal purposes).  

Do you have any ideas on how we can solve this? 
Post your comments and let us know. Together we can and we will find the solution/s..!

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