My daughter's school has a school management system called "InovarConsulta" (roughly translatable as "InovateQuery") which is supposed to be a communication/administration panel for parents, in regards to their children's student process on the enrolled school. The problem is: that system doesn't work! Every process and interaction I had with the school -or teachers for that matter - was done by the good old methods: presence, e-mail, or instant messengers (like WhatsApp).
I don't know about other parents but, as a tech-savvy parent, I was very excited to know, at the beginning of the school year, that such a system was available to be used. So, as soon as my daughter got their enrollment process successfully completed, I went to check out the web application. I quickly got disappointed, and as the school year went by, my suspicion that the application wouldn't be used in any valuable way was confirmed.
But, to not get into too many details, and keep this blog post short, let me sum up the problems I believe this particular system has:
- The UI is of very bad taste and reminds me of the early 2000s;
- The initial page fails to load information like the class head teacher's open hours (slots of time where parents can be attended);
- Functionalities like justifying absence days or consulting my daughter's grades at the end of each trimester, which I find one of the most important and basic functions of a system like this, don't work.
- The worst one: the teachers don't trust the software, they don't seem obligated to use it and, thus, no real value is added there. With that, no parent gets any incentive to also use it, and we end up reverting to things like paper, e-mail, instant messages, or worst, go in person to the school's administration.
I even tweeted about it:
On that tweet, there's a response that stuck with me through all this time: "Why not offer yourself to build a new one?". My immediate response was that I shouldn't do it because they probably paid a lot of money for it. Why would I do it without any return for my trouble?
Well, today I'm announcing that my patience has run out, I hate that system, and I believe that software like this must be centered on easing the communication between teachers, parents, and even students! They're the main subjects on this matter, and clearly, the system I currently have access to wasn't created with that in mind.
This will be a software created in the open, publicly accessible on GitHub. I'll be microblogging about it all the way through. I won't live coding it, but I'll make sure to share any meaningful updates in this blog. I've even created a dedicated menu to this: Syllabus.
Oh, and that's the codename for the project!