For the past couple of years the University of Gondar has been finalizing a system that would transform the way university information is handled. The Oracle Student Information System is software like no other and will revolutionize future universities in the country. Campus solution is software that secures students information on one sheltered platform.
An inside look into the ins and outs of the system will reveal that it is a top of the line concept. According to Mr. Endalkachew Zemen from the IT Directorate it has been three years since its conception and for the past 1 year it has been running at full capacity. The system allows for students to register for classes, gain entrance information, keep track of attendance, view final grade entries, gain insight into cafeteria services, inventory and so on.
What makes it so relevant is the fact that it is a user-friendly access oriented system that allows teachers and students to use it.
In my interview with Mr. Endalkachew I asked what the major benefits would be of such software. He replied, “One of the major issues UoG encountered before this software was created was that numerous students did not know their grades.” He continued, “There were instances when students would think they were about to graduate but in all reality it wasn’t the case because they had a problem with accessing their finalized grade reports. This caused some confusion.” Mr. Endalkachew was right. But it can be observed now that since all grade reports are available online there is no such issue.
From checking out what’s for lunch, to eventually finding medical records from the infirmary, each student will be able to track all their information with a click of a button. The advantages are endless. By securing all the information of the students into SIS the loss of information or documents is a thing of the past.
When asked if other universities in the country are using such a systems Mr. Endalkachew’s response was surprising. “From what we are aware of,” he said, “in Ethiopia UoG is the only university using such a software.” Form speaking with him it was apparent that even in the whole of Africa only 4-5 universities are on the same track.
The standards and quality of an educational institution is said to be enhanced by the methods of which are used to make the lives of students easier. Such technology is doing just that for UoG.
Moreover though, what happens behind closed doors is hardly seen. The Students Information System is performing in a capacity that caters to tens of thousands of students. Therefore, I spoke to another technician at the IT Directorate to understand what else was being done to sustain the incredible work of the SIS. What transpired was leaving one room to enter into a chilled area called a data center.
When speaking to Birehun Molla, who works at the IT Directorate as a data center technician it was clear that a lot is being done to maintain such technological efforts. Mr. Berihun referenced to me the numerous behind the scenes machinery that prevent disasters from happening. “We are currently running a private cloud flex port solution,” he said. The private cloud is rather complex. It sustains 3 aspects. They are storage, servers and switches. With up to 172 terabytes of storage, all the exertion of the university system will be safe and ready for use because of its vast reserve space. Secondly, the servers that are used are cisco blade servers with switches from cisco as well.
Technicalities aside, when one steps foot into a data center it is obvious work is being done around the clock. Until now around 25-30 percent of the 172-terabyte storage has been used in the passed 6-7 years. Therefore, the University of Gondar is well prepared for anything that comes its way.
With other universities on the verge of potentially using such systems as the SIS and such data centers as the university of Gondar’s, it can be noted that the efforts of UoG are surpassing national expectations.
Forward thinking administrative staff and technological advancements that keep UoG ahead in the race for a high quality university experience will certainly elevate Gondar’s flagship institution. With work being done around the clock to make the lives of students and staff easier it is only a matter of time until UoG reaches its status as the top problem solving university by 2020.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate