In Nigeria today, we are in the era, where most schools are bringing most of their activities online. while these is a welcome development, because it brings to view the appreciation of the use of management software in most areas of our professional life. but in a place like Nigeria, a lot of caution are needed to be exercised by schools before settling for an online student portal. The principles i listed below, will guide you in identifying good from great school management software.
1. Ease of Use
While some of the companies that provide this service, most times does the management and enters the data for the school, but most schools are left to use and have a first hand experience with this software. statistics has it that more than 80% of softwares developed in Nigeria are not done by professionals, as such most software developmental guideline are ignored this leads to software services that are riddles with more features than you ever need, complex, not efficient, and lacks the necessary features that makes it a software. it is therefore imperative to consider first the ease of use of a particular school management system by testing it first with your staff, and finding out if it something you can adopt with little or no training.
2. Less is more
Most people in Nigeria, attributes more to mean better, while that might be true in some area, the technological revolution the world is experiencing today is spearheaded by some of the world most advance technology company like Apple, 37Signals, demonstrated in the success and wide adoption of their product is proof that less features is not only better but it gives the best quality experience. you might asked, how does it apply to school management software? but the truth remains the less features a school management system offers you, the better chances for you to have a good experience with the system. you might asked, why? because the cost of developing and maintaining many features are much, that in most cases companies sacrifice quality over quantity just to make the impression that our product have more features, but in real sense, more features that does more crappy things.
its true that the pricing model of most school management software and online student portal in Nigeria are based on per student per term, one of the most important thing before entering in to the service is to make sure that there is no hidden charges, and that there is high level of transparency before, and during negotiation, this has to come with asking questions and been very clear on all requirements that are needed for the smooth installation of the service in your school.
4. Ask For Trial Period
while most online school portal in Nigeria, demands for up front payment of certain amount before you start using their service, it’s advisable to ask for a month of free trial of their school management software without any prior investment, this will help you to avoid been locked in to a crappy online school software, that is not serving your school. these period will enable you to test the school management system for any inconsistence then compare, and see if by adoption of this new process, the values you stand to get, and how it will improve some key metric in the school.