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Classroom Jul-Sep-2018

Importance of MIS in Schools

Prema Muralidhar
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MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (MIS), A SUITE OF INTEGRATED APPLICATIONS THAT WAS INITIALLY USED FOR BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, HAS TODAY BECOME IMPERATIVE IN MANAGING ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS IN A SCHOOL.

Management Information System (MIS), a suite of integrated applications that was initially used for business management, has today become imperative in managing administrative functions in a school. The National Policy on Information and Communication Technology in School Education, by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 2012, states that, “School MIS will emerge as a single-window clearing house on all information related to the secondary school system. The information will facilitate research and analysis of activities and guide decision-making at different levels in the educational system, contributing to enhanced efficiencies.”

The CBSE has also upheld such a vision of including MIS in all schools to ensure effective management of academic functioning of a school.

MIS’ initial entry into a select few schools in India has paved the way for the solution to be seen as a quality tool for the day-to-day management of a school. Ideally, a school management system needs to be integrated with other systems built on different platforms. It should also be tailor-made to cater to the individual and exclusive needs of each school/institute based on its topographical conditions. The software (product) thus developed would provide individual stakeholders with analytical commentaries where the rate of progression of the school/institute can be seen, felt and experienced.

It is also essential that the academic and non-academic features are integrated effectively so as to obtain meaningful insights into various aspects. For example, if a student has been ill and not attended school for a week resulting in below-par performance in exams, the system should be able to suggest the reason behind the poor performance. An analysis of the attendance module and examination modules should provide these details. However, it is also essential that rules and regulations are standardised, policies and procedures are defined by the framing committees so as to effect correct implementation and review of insights.

The school management system thus developed ensures that feedback collected from various stakeholders at regular intervals are analysed, evaluated, interpreted and shared with stakeholders in the form of database and graphical representations where reports can be generated depending on the need. Thus, MIS will help to establish an efficient monitoring mechanism. Successful implementation of MIS would help the school management to scale up their operations and review periodic deviations, so as to take necessary interventions and get back on the planned track. MIS can be the institution’s guide to review the organisation’s performance as against the targets set. The school management can track learning progress and teacher productivity as well.

An effective tracking mechanism enables the principal, students, parents and teachers to gauge the learning outcomes and help improve, sustain and challenge performance of students, and work towards a holistic development.

The challenge for schools has always been to ensure security of their databases and of the MIS processes. Therefore, it is vital for both the user and the vendor to draw clear lines of control and render support in the areas specified. Most schools which opt for an appropriate solution find it tough to ‘brace the unknowns’, or tackle bugs that crop up while feeding data or generating reports. Thus, continued customer support during all phases of implementation will not only eliminate apprehensions but also help in changing the scenario in schools from a ‘person-centred approach’ to a ‘system-centred approach’. In keeping with the latest advancements in technology, MIS now uses cloud computing platforms and services.

Before implementing an ERP solution such as MIS, the concerned stakeholders should understand its benefits first, support its implementation, see how it excites the institution and then start believing in the importance of the project. The success mantra to scaling up an institution lies in the effective implementation of a school management system that can not only save time money and effort but also portray transparency, accountability, credibility and reliability, ensuring confidentiality and security of information at all levels.

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