Academia Secundaria is a student information and resource management system designed for schools to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve management and administration designed by a team in Cameroon. The system is designed to be used by secondary schools, professional institutions and small universities. It allows school administrators to track student achievement and provide academic transcripts at the click of a button. Teachers can also use the system to design multiple choice quizzes and issue assignments. To date, it has been piloted with some 21 secondary schools with an enrollment of more than 21,000 students. We’re delighted to be providing the team with a grant of £7,861 towards further development and roll-out of the platform. Here’s what the Academia Secundaria team had to say about how this project came about:
About 3 years after leaving college, going back to my alma mater to get my academic transcript was not the best of experiences. The school clerk had to scout through tons dusty piles of paperwork in search of my records for each year I spent at the school. It took him a couple of hours to find those records to be able to produce the document I needed. The question that lurks is if schools kept records that way, would they be visible again in the next 5 years or will schools be able to handle about 10 such requests a day? Will it not be more efficient if these records were electronic?
Cameroon is a country with over 2,500 secondary schools nation-wide commissioned to educate over 5 million students. These figures give an average of 2,000 students in each institution. Some of the schools in the urban areas carry up to 6,000 students. This leaves a great workload on teachers who are responsible for generating reports for these students at the end of the semester as they have to be manually processed. The end of the semester is thus a period of tension and teachers working in such a pressurized environment are prone to errors in manual computations and even filling report sheets.
Most often, students only receive their results at the start of the next semester and these results are hardly error-free. Now, this also creates another blind spot for parents who will have difficulties in tracking their children’s academic progress at school as well as discipline if they attended school at all.
Decision making for the school administrations is usually not an easy process as they lack statistics to back the decisions they take. With the manual process, it is a pain to get basic statistics like the minimum score, average score per subject, gender-based reports, standard deviation and percentage increase or decrease just to name a few. How then can they judge if the students are getting better or worst?
Most of these secondary schools have libraries which are not properly catered for as their books are either archaic or irrelevant. This leaves students to rely on teachers and friends to source information or ask questions. These methods are usually not reliable nor available.