1.1 Background of the Study
The field of information technology has improved tremendously in the past decade with the invention of all kinds of new technologies for example e-commerce, e-learning, e-business, and e- registration to mention a few.
In this technological era of education and doing business, information is considered to be an important asset for any academic institution. The availability of student's data and feedback can help an educational institution to align its business processes according to the needs of its students and stakeholders. The effective management of these data can help institutions reach out directly to their students and stakeholders and also streamline its activities.
Commitments towards the success of tertiary education can be achieved through innovations such as updating of information, continuous enrolment, e-payment, and online student registration as well. This innovation approach helps pioneer many of the conveniences of students.
Many events have demonstrated that successful e-business is those that recognize the needs of their target users and match them with relevant contents. We are now in the age of knowledge is power and content is king. This phrase is often used in reference to any business conducted on the internet. People want to access product and services of an individual or corporation on a 24/7 basis. They also expect reliable, functional fast and user friendly services and any corporation that provides such services have higher success rates.
These benefits of e-business are also felt in the academic institutions. It can be applied in the areas of student's online registration and payment of school fees. This system will offer among other things effective customer service and stream line supply chain management (the strategic management of distribution channels and the processes that support them). This system will have a site and will be accessed using any browser such as Internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome etc.
This project work on the design and implementation of e-registration system on tertiary institution is aimed at the modern way of addressing the concerns raised by students, in order to maintain an efficient service delivery system. Such concerns raised are the manual handling of registration and student records, with also the overall view of improving efficiency in the registration process.
E-registration site can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, mostly these sites are portals. Pena-Lopez, (2009) describes a web portal as a site that functions as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web and portals present information from diverse sources. E-registration is a system that could easily manage its student body while also providing added bonuses, with its main goal being to ease the transfer of information. It simplifies the registration process through a web-enabled, user-friendly wizard and digitizes all supporting documents using intuitive process and tools. The education system requires a tremendous amount of data and documentation, and this e-registration solution allows institutions to focus less on processing paperwork and more on what matters most such as meeting the educational needs of their students by having a cost-efficient, secure registration process that allows for easy access to students files. Intranets and portals are supposed to provide an infrastructure through which end-users can gain effective access to information sources needed to assist in daily tasks such as effective decision making, planning and research (Brakel, 2003).
Many institutions in Nigeria have been somewhat quick to recognize the powerful transformational potential of portals and have developed and implemented their own. One of such is the portal of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. Broadly one could argue that an institution with increasing student numbers, operating in a society with an increasing desire for instant access to information, needs to carefully consider new ways in which it can interact more efficiently with its students (Brown 2000; Twigg and Obinge 1997).
At Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, just like the other polytechnics, students are enrolled to pursue a 2-year National Diploma academic program (ND), and a 2-year Higher National Diploma program (HND). Students must pass and obtain the minimum polytechnic admission requirements of the SSSCE/WASSCE examination in order to qualify for admission.
An enrolled student is expected to register and pay their school fees. In most cases, enrolling and having to register a new student involves some manual processes which delay processes for both the polytechnic and more especially the students.
Student's registration is done by students mostly at a registration center. Students have to move physically to campus to complete the registration process. The following are the problems inherent with the current system.
- Insufficient utilities in handling student's registration.
- Inability of students to remotely register and access their registration number immediately.
- Students spend too much time in processing their registration and worse, this can only be done with their physical presence on campus.
The current system is outdated and can only be accessed through a clerk in the registration office/center. The new system will enable all students to access the system through a PC connected through the internet. Essentially, the idea of e-registration is to lead students to a convenient way of registering online. Students will be able to save their time, money, plus submit their information with just in few minutes. In additional, it can be done anytime, anywhere according to their preference, provided it is within the stipulated time period.
It is in this regard that this project looks at the student's registration system at Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo in order to design and develop an e-registration system for the school.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
From the background of the study, one can observe the following problems which prompted this project;
- Difficulty faced by students in retrieving their lost receipt from bursary.
- Inconveniences faced by students queuing to pay school fees and collect registration form.
- Wear and tear that occurs during retrieval and manual handling of files, sometimes data get lost as a result.
- Increase of paper work in the bursary department and course form registration center.
- Difficulty experienced in updating of record in a file.
- Misplacement, loss or damage of student's record.
- Inability of students to remotely register and access documents like school fees receipt.
- Difficulty in locating registration at crucial times.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this project will be concentrated towards the development of software that will help in removing the problems encountered with student's manual method of registration. That is to say, the general objective of the study is to develop e-registration software.
The specific objectives include;
- To collect the detail record of students.
- To create a database for the students.
- To create an online transaction processing system for the payment of fees by students and generation of receipts.
- To create an easy to use friendly user interface.
1.4 Scope of Study
This study focuses on the development of e-registration system for Imo state polytechnic Umuagwo. It shall include programs which will contain detailed information of the students since first date of enrollment and up to the graduating day including all students' information and procedures required by the students during registration.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This project work “the design and implementation of an e-registration system will be of great significance to tertiary institutions in the sense that it will help in overcoming the problems of manual operations. Such problems includes; difficulty experienced in updating a record in a file, difficulty faced by students in retrieving their lost receipt from bursary, and inability of students to remotely register and access documents like school fees receipt.
This institution will make use of the software to access their student's record. The institution will through the knowledge gained in this work discover the need to fully adopt this new system. The students also will greatly benefit from this project as it will enable them to have a new experience of registration when the system is finally adopted.it will also make them to embrace any policy strategy and innovational steps taken by the institution to enhance the quality of education in school.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The act of carrying out a project work such as this was not an easy task. Several challenges were encountered by the researcher but efforts were made to ensure that they were overcome and that the objectives of the study were realized.
- Unavailability of data and inadequate resource materials for researcher in this part of the country.
- Time constraint was another issue the researcher has to battle with as a stipulated time was given for the accomplishment of this task.
- The problem of financial constraint was also an issue of great concern. The meager income available to me had to be managed to realize this work.
- The problem of interrupted power supply also affected my fastness in the design of my work.
In spite of these challenges the objectives of this study was realized as the researcher made judicious use of what was available.