Nowadays most South African schools use accounting systems integrated with an application also installed by parents. These apps facilitate school-parent communication by displaying school news, upcoming events, status of school fee payments and more. They also automate the bursar’s working routine.
Five years ago, Russian businessman and programmer Ilia Shikhov settled in South Africa. A year later he presented the community Rise School Management system that combines the accounting and personal accounts of every student for parents. Today 98 schools all over the country enjoy it.
At the beginning of its journey, Rise SA Business Solutions only provided its accounting system, which freed school staff up from dealing with financial documentation. Most public schools in South Africa supplement their budget with a tuition fee paid by parents. Those naturally are interested in what their money are spent on, so financial decisions are made with the participation of the elected School’s Parents’ Council. «South African parents want to know what’s going on in schools, so we just answered their request.» says Ilia.
Further research revealed that parents want more than just to follow their billing status. That is how direct Communicator with teachers, School and Class News, Discipline module and Attendance record for students appeared in the Rise School Management. It is interesting to note that the student’s marks are not displayed in the South African application; whereas it’s the only data provided in its Russian counterparts. «That is our next step. The Progress Report page is about to appear, and I think this might be welcomed by parents. Mothers always want to see their children’s success,» adds Ilia.