Cloud for Examination System in Sri Lanka

If the word “cloud” mean more than just a cloud in the sky for you , then continue reading. But if not I suggest you to go through this link Cloud Computing

“Examinations” must be the most horrible words in the society these days. We all know how they have spoiled it. In the education system in Sri Lanka GCE O/L and GCE A/L are the most two important examinations for students in the schools. The whole future of a person is decided by these exams (Not true always 🙂 ). We all know the importance of an examination and it’s results. One wrong calculation or printing mistake can make a life up side down.

As far as the examination results are concerned, there are two vital factors ,

Theya are

  • Accuracy
  • Quick Publishing

I am not going to talk more about the fact “Accuracy”, because it is so obvious .GCE Advanced Level and GCE Ordinary Level results were one of the most controversial topics recently.Inaccuracy of the prevailing system was obviously revealed. GCE A/L is the most important benchmark of the life of a student. Inaccuracy of such a thing may ruin the life of the student. Erroneous marking of the paper is not the only reason here. Improper manipulating of the data can cause the same problem. Then the second fact. Most of the students seating for exam are not passed or get higher ranks in the  first time. So majority of them seek a second try. To get this decision quick publishing of the results in very important. It takes months to finalize the results after the paper marking is completed. So where is the mistake.

Here is the procedure….

  1. Mark the paper
  2. records the marks in a sheet and send it to the Ministry of Office or whateva
  3. then they manually enter the marks in to a database
  4. then process

for 3rd and 4th steps they take months, Folks!!! what  if we can do 3rd step inside the marking center and 4th step later. Results can be published maximum within 2 days after the marking is finished. Awesome !!! isn’t it.

(usually paper marking is taken place for 3 weeks, so within 3 weeks and 2 days after the exam results are published)

The solution is the CLOUD…… cloud for examinations.  You guys cam argue with me “Teachers!!! Their IT literacy is not that high!!”… yeah.. may be.. But there are teachers dedicated to IT at schools may be we can use them.

Note: This is part of my dream , that I shared with you in the first article of this blog….

My Dream

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It’s about FB, but not just an article

Facebook”, it may be the most popular word in Sri Lanka for past decade (other competitive words are “Rajapaksha”,”Changumee”, etc 🙂 :)). and also the most popular social networking site yet implemented. This is some what like a knife, we can use a knife to slice a bread as well as slice a throat. But the purpose of using it rest in our hands and the consequences of the action also has to be beared by ourselves.

Facebook ,as i mentioned earlier has numerous similarities against knife 🙂 :). We can use it for the betterment of ourselves and the rest of the community,and also for the opposite of it. If you can recall your memory few months back, I guess you can remember that incident of murdering his wife and two children by a person due a love started in FB. I know, some fellas read this will blame me … “WTF are you talking,It is about him .. not about FB”…

I would say like this

“FB is like a platform (like WSO2 Carbon), It provides you various base services. But the thing you develop on it depends on you. It can be a good social connection or can be a connection that has very very bad effect on some others. But folks, there is something about the platform . Without it’s services you won’t be able to do anything…. (Screwed???? don’t mind . go ahead…).

There are something called FB ethics, that you should follow.

  1. No Fake profiles.
  2. Don’t insult others for their physical appearance,race,religion etc.
  3. Have your own privacy with you, they are not to share.
  4. Don’t upload or share pictures that is not suitable for public display (you know what i mean). 🙂

there are many…. just google it…

You may not know this,  when a company recieved your CV , they just check your FB profile(If possible). Because it is kind a reflection of your personality , attitudes (you know ,any one can fake it) .Don’t share every damn thing about your private life in the public. You will regret. You can find thousands of FB friends , but find a true friend to share your joy and pain. There are many places to do that. But FB is not in that list.

When you update a status,or share anything, just think before you do it. I am saying this because, now there are group of people out there trying to create a conflict again in sri lanka, and the FB is the main media that they are using. So my friends, don’t let them make a fool out of you.

Final words, FB is not your home, it is just a road house. So treat it as it deserves.

Dreaming about IT everywhere country..

Just came from WSO2 Con 2013. Was a fantastic event organized by WSO2 team. Lots of topics were discussed there. session on e- governance ringed my bell. Actually when I was doing my level 3 project at the university I was dreaming about the same thing that they (WSO2 and Rapsere) are doing now. Everything is e-nized (don’t worry it “e-nized” is a word in my vocabulary 🙂 ). I was doing a School Management System (SMS) for the level 3 project, it was a very sophisticated web application that facilitates to manage almost every thing in the school.

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Examinations

and I planned about lot more like asset management etc.. I called it School Management at finger tips.because every thing was away with few keystrokes or a click. I will list out some features I Included in the SMS.

  • General Module for Authentication for students,teachers,sectional heads, vice principals and principal. and they are provided with different user levels with different privileges. As in the hierarchy, student with the least privileges and principal is the boss 🙂 🙂 as usual.
  • only registering user can be done by vice principal and principal.
  • Each person has his own account with different views based on the authentication level.
  • Teachers can be assigned wit subjects and classes for those subjects.
  • Student are registered and assigned in to classes at every December 31st , classes are updated according to the cut-off markds defined by the class teacher. (by default everyone is passed to next class)
  • Separate Module to take care of Examinations. Only principal can start an examination. After the exam is finished, teachers are notified with a sms (here sms is the sms in our day to day terminology) to enter marks.
  • When all the marks are entered class teacher have the authorization to process the marks and get ranks, averages all the stuffs needed.
  • during this process , examination results is sent to student’s parents mobile, so before student reaches the home results has gone there (I know that is not fair 🙂 :). but had to to that )
  • Discipline Notifier ( night mare for naughty students 🙂 🙂 ). Teachers can add remarks about the behavior of the student in the school. Each remarks reaches parents in a flash ( I know that is bad too…. 🙂 ).

umm…. There is another interesting thing I included, I included this because of my real life experience. After passing out from the school I went to get my character certificate, and sports certificate. Then vice principal gave me a big big form and asked to write things I did in the school and asked to get signatures from relevant teachers as a confirmation. 🙂 🙂 . That’s how thing were….

So I wanted to include feature that store every thing of  a student Discipline,Sports, Ex-curricular activities, Awards etc. So I included this thing. that records these all. So when a student want to get any certificate . Then who ever the person issue the certificate just have to have a look at those records which are easily can be retrieved ( authentication level should be greater than student)

As above there are lots features of SMS. I was not going to talk about it.. Let’s get back on the track… umm…Eventhough Sri Lanka has above 90% literacy , in the case of IT literacy it is not that much. Most of the folks in the higher positions of government institution have not been exposed to IT that much. I’ll tell you a little story.

Few months back , I was asked to design and develop a IT System for Badulla Private Passenger Company ,which is the largest private bus company in Badulla. It was a proposed to me by a young person working there. because he has the idea of the comfortability of  using an IT system instead of bulky files ( It saves trees too :)) Then I was asked to do a presentation for the director board.(there were 12 , out of 12 , 11 of them were businessmen and the other was a lawyer ) 🙂 🙂 . Now the fun part begins… I gave the presentation. They were stared at me during entire presentation and finally asked how much does it cost??? 🙂 kind a funny question, I was expecting it 🙂 🙂 . Then I told them the price with no discount policy (same as WSO2 🙂 :)) . There eye brows went up :).And all them told that they are fine with bulky files and paperwork. I felt that , I would have been very easy for my to convince my granny to wear jeans rather than convincing those folks to use an IT system.

That’s how the things works in Sri Lanka, most of the people working in the Government only know about how to use the MS Office Pakage 🙂 .  and still there are people who thinks that MS Words is a typewriter with a Screen. 🙂 🙂 . because , Once they made a mistake at the beginning of the sentence , and if they saw it in the end of the sentence , then they delete the whole sentence and type it again. 🙂 🙂 . It is just a one example , I can give lots of them ( guess it is better to write another article for it ).

To make my dream true , to see a Sri Lanka with IT Every where.. first we should come up with significant change in education system. and persuade people to use IT and stick with technology. Still there are people that prefer being in the queue at the counter of the bank holding the Pass book rather than using ATM card to withdraw money.

e-governance would be a huge step to make my dream a reality.I know that day is not that far. Not only for governance , for health services ,education,transportation etc.. We can use IT, in my words we can e-nize them.

cheerz!!!!

Welcome Note

Hi, I am Asanka Dissanayake. Working as a Software Engineer at WSO2. Well… It is good to start a new blog. I used to blog in sinhala (http://www.cyberwaadiya.blogspot.com). But targeting a wider community, here after I am starting blogging in English. Throughout the blog I will share my knowledge and opinions about some things around us. I will suggest solution for existing problems around us (both IT and Non-IT).  I am pretty sure that you will find this interesting. I am just sharing my thoughts. Sharing your thought also in the blog is highly appreciated.

Way to go… cheerz!!!