Back in 2012, Dignited ran a story about SchoolMaster‘s myChild an ambitious school management app still in its infancy which was set to transform parent-school interaction via the internet. Following an interview with the product developer and a test drive of the app, our review was a positive one. Much as we noted a few kinks that we felt needed to be rectified, it was apparent even back then that such a platform would be a godsend for parents and schools alike.
Fast forward to 2016 and we have to hand it to SchoolMaster Solutions for their tenacity. Ronald Sebuhinja, CEO and Founder of SchoolMaster Solutions officially launched the much refined myChild app at a jam-packed press conference at Fairway Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday 28th 2016.
The myChild app is already in use at Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga and soon to be adopted at Uganda Martyrs Secondary School, Namugongo and Turkish Light Academy. A further 35 schools using SchoolMaster school management app are in the process of being migrated to the new system.
The platform shows all the child’s report cards and other track records since they joined the school at a click of a button. The myChild platform goes a step further and provides much-needed general class performance context. A parent can get access to a comparative performance analysis of subjects while against a backdrop of the entire class.
Quotable: I am a lecturer at the University, Makerere, and I know that the app that we use, and the software doesn’t have really this interaction with the parents. That’s the key thing. Students come to the University and ‘eat’ the school fees and the parents are called for graduation and there is no accountability ~Gordon Ariho, Chairman of SchoolMaster Solutions and a lecturer at Makerere University
When a child completes O’Levels, we shall put the UNEB results within two hours of the school receiving them.
On the mobile app, you simply swipe from term to term and the information is stored locally on the device so even if you are not connected, you do get this information whenever you need to look it up.
With myChild you don’t wait up to the end of term. You can see beginning of term assessments when they are uploaded. There are no forgeries. You have all the results in a single location ~Ronald Sebuhinja, CEO and Founder, myChild (SchoolMaster Solutions)
- The platform is now only available on Web and as an Android App. Support for Windows Mobile and iOS platforms is forthcoming as well.
- A parent can only view their own child/children’s results supplemented with a general class performance overview.
- The platform is available in English only. Support for other languages might be added with time if at all it’s feasible.
- myChild is looking into providing USSD data retrieval for parents lacking internet connectivity and smartphones.
- Registration for the myChild service will cost a parent Ushs. 20,000 ($5.9) for a lifetime subscription for the service.
Upcoming Events and Notifications: Parents can easily monitor their children’s school activities and announcements through myChild on web and Android (more platforms yet to be supported). The app opens up a new channel for parents to interact with the school during the school term and during holidays.
Fees Payment made Easy: Parents can pay for their children’s school fees through myChild. The app achieves interoperability as payments can be made to any bank via the Interswitch bank platform. Alternatively, parents can clear school fees using mobile money.
Child Performance Analysis and Trends: myChild provides parents with access with their child’s academic results in their entirety. Unlike report cards, parents are able to see a comparative analysis of the overall class performance vis-à-vis their child’s results. This analysis extends to individual subject performance.
Chat Platform as Feedback mechanism: myChild provides a platform through which concerned parents can convene and have discussions about various issues. Parents can give valuable feedback on school matters, national issues such as the state of the education sector and what ought to be done. This system allows parents to interface with the school over new fees structures, school projects in the pipeline, e.t.c.
Adding Children to One Profile: Parents with many children in the various schools associated with myChild can track all their children’s progress in one place. In using one login profile, a parent can add as many children as they have and monitor their academics and co-curricular activities all in one go.
Child Track Records Access: Important updates and milestones on school children is instantly made available on myChild for the parents to be in the know. These events include health incidents, co-curricular activities, disciplinary records and library utilisation. A parent is always kept involved in their children’s life whether or not they are physically present.
Messaging: The myChild platform keeps a messaging service to notify users of new updates. Through SMS and email, schools can reach parents with important announcements.
Staff Directory Access: The platform keeps a directory of all teachers in the school, the subjects they teach and relevant contact information. A parent can pull up any of these contacts and directly talk to a teacher about their child’s welfare.
Offline Mode: The myChild mobile app ( Android only for now) allows local storage of all student data. A a parent can access school reports, academic track records, school events, e.t.c even without an internet connection.