By Malmo Getachew
The onset of Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lock downs disrupted learning globally and highlighted the need for alternative modes of learning. In an effort to minimize disruption to learning, the Federal TVET Institute in Ethiopia developed and electronic Student Information Management System (eSiMS) for the Institute and its 15 Satellite Campuses spread across the country.
The electronic system was developed to carry out a number of functions including: student registration; timetable scheduling; business intelligence and reporting; maintaining student financial records; management of student courses student dormitory placement and cafeteria as well as file management.
The system also allows FTI administrators to carry out student admissions and registration and maintain a data base of all its alumni. The system includes software defined Wide Area Network that interconnects the main campus with the 15 satellite campuses.
Besides enabling the satellites to use the eSiMS system at the FTI data center, it has created an opportunity for all satellite campuses to use the state of the art data center and for any future demand. As result, the system has improved data storage, improved monitoring and retrieval of data, reduced paper wastage, improved handling of student and customer complaints.
The Learning Management Information System has a Moodle based eLearning platform hosted at the data center in the premise. It is open source and free. The platform assisted the institute to conduct teaching learning during the Covid-19 lock downs, thereby allowing learning to have minimum disruptions to their learning schedule. Currently some instructors at the Institute at are the platform to conduct classes blended learning which has given learners more options to access educational resources. So far more than 6,000 students have created accounts on LMIS and are using the platform for learning.
The platform has already proven beneficial to students in satellite campuses. For instance, there are ongoing partnerships to further strengthen blended learning in the institute and the satellite campuses using the platform. Other partners are planning to use it to reach out agricultural colleges in regions.
The Writer is an Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Federal TVET Institute