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Ministry of Education to Get Tough on School Management System Providers

The owner and operator of School Manager (A Local School Management System) Mr. Dingwall, has died and this has left a number of schools in limbo.
Mr. Dingwall, who was the sole operator of the system (“one man” software business), is alleged to have died with the access codes and unfortunately he was the only one who was also able to carry out technical work and technical support as requested by the schools.
This is not the first challenge being faced by schools that uses School Manager. Many may recall an incident a number of years ago in which the School Manager software was held ransom for 5,000 USD, which resulted in 16 schools being unable to access student and admin data for a period of time.
This is an unfortunate situation because a lot of data belonging to students and admin is held on the School Manager System and there is now a heightened risk that schools may be unable to access crucial information in the coming months and weeks.
Data loss is a real risk and where schools have placed their trust in the “one man” software business, they run the risk of experiencing serious challenges.
There has not been any school so far reporting any difficulty, however, all these schools will now have to seek other providers in the new school year.
Educate Jamaica was able to speak with two technology professionals and a number of secondary school principals who informed us that they are very concerned that there are other school management system providers across the island running “a one man” software business. Some of the principals we spoke to expressed concern that they were not really sure whether or not their current systems weren’t being operated by “a one man” operator.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been informed of the matter and they will be acting swiftly to ensure that student and admin data will be protected. To prevent such a situation from happening, calls are being made for the ministry of Education to bring forward their plans to regulate the School Management Industry.