PSM (Package for School Management) is a school management solution developed by SchoolMaster Solutions, a Ugandan software research & development firm focused on transforming the management of education enterprises by providing them with innovative world-class, cutting edge ICT solutions as well as exceptional support.
They also created a mobile phone app dubbed myChild, which helps parents track their children’s academic performance, its analysis, upcoming school events, the school’s staff directory, engage in school chat forums and pay school dues too.
PSM has been adopted by 70+ schools around the country. These schools include, among others, Uganda Martyrs’ S. S. Namugongo, Paul Mukasa S.S, City High School, Light Academy School, the Aga Khan Education Service etc in or around Kampala. Further afield, PSM has been adopted as the management solution of choice by Jinja Senior Secondary School, Busoga College Mwiri, Kyebambe Girls SS, Sebei College Tegeres, and Otravu SS. It is designed to support all the typical tasks involved in the student/pupil lifecycle from admission to graduation. A companion myChild app, also by SchoolMaster Solutions provides infomation services for parents, powered by PSM resources.
Main Modules in the Package for School Management Software
PSM functional modules are explained hereunder:
- Students’ registration while capturing all key information.
- Handling of termly requirements by use of customizable checklists.
- Management of students’ track records: Discipline, Health, Co-Curricular and Leadership positions.
- Management of students’ club & association membership.
- Storage of roll-call and class attendance information.
- Management of Out-of-School permissions
- Printing of school usable documents such as Student IDs, Meal Cards and Library Card, Students Lists, House Lists.
- Quick retrieval and viewing of all student information.
- Information analytics such as distribution according to gender, district of origin, religion etc.
- Provision for the exporting of all student information to a variety of formats.
Academic Results Management
- Flexible entry of assessment marks by the respective subject teachers.
- Assignment of subject options and A-Level subject combinations.
- Results assessment based on National and International Curriculums (Cambridge and IB)
- Retrieval and review of all subject assessment marks and results data.
- Results Analysis at both individual student and class levels
- Print out of academic documents: Intermediate/Termly reports, Historical Performance Transcripts, Mark and Result Sheets
- Provision for the exporting of all academic information to other formats.
- Registration for both teaching and non-teaching Staff.
- Assignment of users with associated system access rights and privileges
- Assignment of classes and subjects taught to respective teachers.
- Printing of staff related documents: staff lists etc.
- Provision for the exporting of all staff information in other formats
In addition to the main modules listed above, PSM also ships with additional, value-addition utilities designed to enable the customers utilize PSM to the maximum extent possible. These include an ID Camera app, Report Designer & Administrator tools.
School Master Solutions offer PSM at competitive prices based on the market price of brilliant and functional school management systems. The can give your school a custom quotation with pricing which enables the school obtain maximum value for their investment, with no hidden charges or annual licensing fees. Below are sample cost ranges obtained from a recent quotation, but School Master Solutions reserves the right to change or revise them.
|Item||Constituent Modules||Cost (UGX)||Details|
|PSM [Package for School Management]|| 1. Students Management Module|
2. Staff Information Management:
3. Academics Management: a. Marks & Results Management: b. Results Analysis:
4. System Administration & Report Design
|3,000,000/=||System Installation, Database setup & Records uploading.Training of system end-users and Initial setup of staff user accounts. Documentation Free Support for the first 4 Months.|
|SMS Delivery||40 per SMS||SMS notifications to parents and other stakeholders.|
|Transport Surcharge||17,500 per 50km radius||For support requests that require on-site visits, the school shall pay a transport surcharge per visit.|
|Additional Termly Support (PSM)||200,000/=||Even after the first 4 months of free support, SchoolMaster Solutions offer optional termly support for PSM Clients thereafter at a cost of UGX. 200,000 per term. This fee covers the cost of responding to support requests as well as further PSM development and refinement for the school. If you opt out of this support plan, any requests and upgrades are charged on a per-incident basis.|
Note: You can get in touch with School Master solutions to negotiate a custom quotation for your school. Their office is located on Plot 66, Katego Road, Kamwokya. Tel: +256782 822131, +256 704 458336 Email: email@example.com Website: www.schoolmaster.co.ug
PSM System Requirements
|1||Server||Core i3 or above with 4GB RAM for a student population =< 2,000 students|
|2||Client PC||Core i3 with at least 2GB RAM (4GB RAM strongly recommended)|
|3||Operating System||Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10|
|4||Network||We recommend wired Local Area Network for critical client connections|
myChild app Overview
- The platform is now only available on Web and as an Android App. Support for Windows Mobile and iOS platforms is forthcoming as well.
- A parent can only view their own child/children’s results supplemented with a general class performance overview.
- myChild is looking into providing USSD data retrieval for parents lacking internet connectivity and smartphones.
- Registration for the myChild service will cost a parent Ushs. 20,000 for a lifetime subscription for the service.
Main Features of myChild App
Upcoming Events and Notifications: Parents can easily monitor their children’s school activities and announcements through myChild on web and Android (more platforms yet to be supported). The app opens up a new channel for parents to interact with the school during the school term and during holidays.
Fees Payment made Easy: Parents can pay for their children’s school fees through myChild. The app achieves interoperability as payments can be made to any bank via the Interswitch bank platform. Alternatively, parents can clear school fees using mobile money.
Child Performance Analysis and Trends: myChild provides parents with access with their child’s academic results in their entirety. Unlike report cards, parents are able to see a comparative analysis of the overall class performance vis-à-vis their child’s results. This analysis extends to individual subject performance.
Chat Platform as Feedback mechanism: myChild provides a platform through which concerned parents can convene and have discussions about various issues. Parents can give valuable feedback on school matters, national issues such as the state of the education sector and what ought to be done. This system allows parents to interface with the school over new fees structures, school projects in the pipeline, e.t.c.
Adding Children to One Profile: Parents with many children in the various schools associated with myChild can track all their children’s progress in one place. In using one login profile, a parent can add as many children as they have and monitor their academics and co-curricular activities all in one go.
Child Track Records Access: Important updates and milestones on school children is instantly made available on myChild for the parents to be in the know. These events include health incidents, co-curricular activities, disciplinary records and library utilisation. A parent is always kept involved in their children’s life whether or not they are physically present.
Messaging: The myChild platform keeps a messaging service to notify users of new updates. Through SMS and email, schools can reach parents with important announcements.
Staff Directory Access: The platform keeps a directory of all teachers in the school, the subjects they teach and relevant contact information. A parent can pull up any of these contacts and directly talk to a teacher about their child’s welfare.
Offline Mode: The myChild mobile app ( Android only for now) allows local storage of all student data. A a parent can access school reports, academic track records, school events, e.t.c even without an internet connection.
Quote: On the mobile app, you simply swipe from term to term and the information is stored locally on the device so even if you are not connected, you do get this information whenever you need to look it up.
With myChild you don’t wait up to the end of term. You can see beginning of term assessments when they are uploaded. There are no forgeries. You have all the results in a single location ~Ronald Sebuhinja, CEO and Founder, myChild (SchoolMaster Solutions)
Some PSM & myChild User Testimonies
Angoda Emmanuel’s Testimony
Lira Town College had since 2013 used 3 Report Card systems (software). I must say is difficult getting the ultimate solution considering the small budget, poor computer skills among staff, low value attached to IT systems and administrative challenges.
In 2013, we piloted with BestGrade, a free Excel based system developed for help school computerized records management and process academic progress report cards. It worked well in A-level where we had relatively small numbers compared to the “universal” numbers in O-level We abandoned it largely due to absence of a functional academic & report card committee.
Fast forward to 2015. We obtained the KSIS system from a young software developer based in Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania. KSIS was a web based system, and worked well for both O-level and A-level. However, it was not without challenges. However, it was difficult to add students, assign subjects to students and computing took a lot of time. The other challenge was the difficulty in keeping the records after printing. Any small mess with the OS means vital data is lost. The KSIS system was handled by a team (headed by me) and we assigned each class to one person.
However, in 2015, UNEB changed the A-level grading from computing subject grade averages to what it calls “criterions referencing”. This meant that candidates were graded based on fixed criteria irrespective of high or low they perform. The point here is balance papers if you want good grades/points.
When the school term 1, started in February 2017, I wrote a Call for Proposals for the School Report Card System & posted it on three online forums.
After publishing our need for Report card system, I received many proposals a number of individuals and companies. In total, they were 17 proposals, all of them from Kampala. I remember receiving so many emails and also length calls from these developers.
However, one guy who really impressed me is Ronald, from SchoolMaster. He called me and told me about the PSM (Package for School Management) that they had. I remember him telling me that “talk is cheap” and wanted to schedule an appointment with me. We fixed a date in March (which I do not remember now).
On the appointed day (it was a Saturday), I received a call from Ronald telling me that they were at school, waiting to see me. That meeting was very productive. They installed PSM on one of my office computers and took me through the process of using PSM. Just like the say, seeing is believing.
In March 2017, we processed the payment for PSM (of course we bargained) and signed agreements. Ronald had given us profound belief that the system would work for us.
Finally, in April we used the system and it has given the best academic reports we have always wanted. We easily generated marksheets and gave them to the team to enter the marks. After that, we simply uploaded them back into the system. The only small challenge was adding new students who were not on the class list. However, after setting up a network work went on very well. Only four people accomplished the work of processing reports for 2,400 students in 3 days. Perfect, isn’t it?
I liked these about the PSM:
• The ease with which you assign subjects to classes & students.
• Easy and fresh user interface.
• Small results computing time.
• It is easy to set parameters and other settings such as grading, comments.
• The ability to deploy on a network and share data.
• Flexible payment scheduled and agreement we signed. The school administrator does not have to sweat to get a service.
• Top-notch customer care and support. I remember being given 3 people and still being to be get help at 11pm in the night.
• Being able to export report cards to PDF and save.
I am writing these for the good of the ICT industry. We should be able to share ideas, collaborate and do things that help mutually help ourselves. I want to point out some issues here.
Read Full Testimony on Angoda’s Blog here.
Chimpreports: In 2017, myChild app team were one of the winners of UCC’s ACIA Wards under the Digital Content Award
ITAU Members: You can fill in this form to request for a quotation for your school or to leave a question for School Master Solutions. We shall forward your request to the PSM Team to contact you. The Team has also been invited to share with the members during the Annual ICT Teachers Workshop which starts on Monday 6th to Tuesday 7th May, 2019.