Monday, September 30, 2019

Globalization Problem Essay

Introduction Globalization has practically changed societies all over the world. It has paved the way for the so called â€Å"borderless economy†. With the advent of the Internet, the role of information has dramatically changed the way people live and do business. As Naval points out in her paper, an immense reduction of time and space barriers among great nations is made possible through interconnectivity. She illustrated that such interconnections result to global transactions being done in the comfort zones of one’s home. This characteristic of the Information Age provides for accessibility to vast reservoirs of knowledge, which is power. 1 It is for this reason that all nations all over the world are adopting ICT-based solutions to address their information needs in this modern era of knowledge explosion. In the Philippines, the government anticipated the importance of Information Technology (IT) as early as the Ramos administration. Ramos in his speech at the First Information Technology and Telecommunications Education Congress outlined the National Information Technology Plan (NITP) of the government. He stressed that IT must be applied to the education sector as a means for national strengthening.2 In 1997, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported that the General Appropriations Act of the previous year provided some funds for the CHED-SUCs computerization program. Chairman Angel C. Alcala stated that majority of the fund was used to upgrade the computer capabilities of state-funded institutions. The biggest threat pointed out in the CHED computerization program was the readiness of the people in the educational institutions in the form of computer literacy to cope with the said technological changes. 3 Similarly, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) engaged in its own computerization program. Undersecretary Alejandro W.D. Clemente described the computerization project as two main thrusts, which are (1) improvement of learning/teaching environment and (2) management of education. While improvement of learning/teaching environment mainly involves direct use of IT tools in the classroom such as multimedia, computer-based training, etc., Clemente stressed that management of education through IT centers on three groups. These groups consist of support staff using application programs such as wordprocessors, spreadsheets and the like for processing. The second group is for the number crunching processing such as accounting, budgeting and others. Finally, the third group affected by IT in educational management is in the area of databanking. Storing of voluminous records such as student scholastic records may be kept and retrieved using computer technology. 4 In addition to government efforts, Malacaà ±ang has issued on July 12, 2000, under the Estrada administration, Executive Order No. 265, â€Å"An act approving and adopting the government information systems plan (GISP) as framework and guide for all computerization efforts in the government.† The order aims to provide a wide-ranging set of reforms to enhance government efficiency and effectiveness in its operations and delivery of basic services to the public. Furthermore, the executive order requires all government units to align their respective computerization projects to the thrusts of E.O. 265, also known as the Philippine Government Online. 5 In the light of these ICT undertakings at the national level, most specially in the education sector, former PUP President, Dr. Ofelia M. Carague was inspired to embark on a university-wide computerization project to address the information needs of the university, as embodied in the PUP Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP). The ISSP, in general, aims to address the mission-critical areas of the five sectors of the university, namely: Administration, Finance, Student Services, Academic Affairs and Research and Development. Different systems were lined-up for the different sectors of the university, such as, Admission System (AS), Enrolment System (ES), Student Grades Monitoring Systems (SGMS), etc. under the Student Services sector.6 Despite the massive computerization program of PUP during the early part of the Carague administration, the PUP Laboratory High School department was not included in the initial list of offices to be computerized, mainly due to the limited student population. This view was somehow overturned by a fire incident which threatened to destroy the archived student records in the possession of the high school registrar. This was cited by PUP LHS in its appeal to be included in the computerization project. The Polytechnic University of the Philippines Laboratory High School has been in existence for more than half a century since its inception in 1954. Throughout its existence it has adopted several information systems, both manual and automated, to facilitate in its day-to-day operations. Recently, the high school department engaged in an upgrading of its Student Information Systems (SIS). The semi-automated operations were replaced with a fully automated system known as Laboratory High School Student Information System (LabHiSIS). LabHiSIS is composed to two subsystems, namely: (1) Enrolment System (ES) and (2) Student Grades Monitoring System (SGMS). This transition from a semi-automated to a fully automated system entails a lot of adjustments on the part of LHS students, faculty members and non-teaching personnel. Thus, the researcher aims to assess the implementation of the said subsystems of LabHiSIS in order to understand the efficacy of the said system implementation, using as basis common good qualities of information, which an efficient or effective information system must provide. The study shall likewise identify the pr oblems encountered during the system implementations. Background of the Study The Polytechnic University of the Philippines Laboratory High School (PUPLHS) located in the main campus at Sta. Mesa, Manila is the only surviving high school unit of PUP. Previously, there were high school department in other PUP branches like PUP Bataan and Lopez branches. There were some motions in the past to close the department, but it was vigorously opposed to by certain sectors of the university citing that PUP LHS is an integral department of the College of Office Administration and Business Teacher Education (COABTE). The latter was founded in 1904 formerly starting as the College of Business Teacher Education while the former was established in 1954 to pioneer a unique commercial curriculum. The curriculum’s defining attributes are the subjects on distributive arts, which consist of Stenography, Bookkeeping and Salesmanship, viewed as a tool to make the students more equipped for early employment. The students are required to take one of these as a major in junior and senior year. The curriculum has remained very much intact for the past fifty years with very minimal modifications, like the inclusion of computer subjects. Though COABTE acts as the mother unit of the high school department, certain autonomy in the management of PUP LHS is given to its administrators. For instance, the LHS Registrar is not bound to adhere to procedures implemented by the university registrar to the colleges. In addition, since it is under the university system, the high school department also enjoys a similar type of independence from DepEd control. The PUPLHS enrolment process employs a typical manual enrolment process. Despite of this nature, the LHS administration is able to manage the enrolment due to the small student population. The enrolment starts with the filling up of registration forms at designated enrolment centers. Prior to this initial step, old students must be cleared of any accountability during the previous school year. Next, the student pays Student Council fees along with other organizational fees. The third step is the assessment of fees which is manually computed by the teachers themselves. After which, the students must pay the amount at the Cashier’s Office located at the main building. Finally, the student has to proceed to the LHS Registrar’s Office for the validation of registration certificate.7 This concludes the manual high school enrolment process, which is less complicated as compared to the college enrolment. Common problems under this situation arise from long queues of students waiting to be processed up to incorrect assessment of matriculation and other fees. The grades of the students like most secondary level institutions are likewise computed manually. The process starts with the posting of grades in the summary sheet which is done on a quarterly basis by the teachers. Each section has one summary sheet to which all subject teachers input the grades of students bel onging to the section. The posting of non-academic marks like attendance, conduct and homeroom are also posted on the summary sheet by the section advisers every quarter. Another type of quarterly report being prepared by the teachers is the report cards of the students. On the fourth quarter of the school calendar, the teachers must compute the subject averages and post it on the summary sheet to determine those who passed and failed from among the students. This is very crucial in the deliberation process of PUP LHS faculty members so that they are guided as to whom are the candidates for kick out or transfer. In addition, the advisers are responsible for the computation of the general weighted average and the posting of academic and non-academic marks on the report card of all the students under his advisory. Next, the teacher encodes the grades of the students to the Student Permanent Record form of the LHS Registrar’s office, which serves as the official scholastic record of the student. Finally, the teachers must prepare their grade sheets to be submitted to the LHS principal. The registrar, on one hand, is responsible of producing the Transcript of Records (TOR) of both graduates and students for college application purposes. At this stage, the student grades are encoded to the computer for the very first time. This summarizes the complex and tedious manual process of grades processing in PUP LHS.8 The manual systems in PUP LHS suffer from a lot redundancies. In their manual processing of student grades the only instance where the grades of the students are made in digital form is when the Registrar encodes the grades for the Transcript of Records (TOR) preparation. The rest of the processing stages consist of manual posting of grades unto different reports. When the appeal of PUP LHS to be included in the computerization project was approved by the Office of the Vice President for Finance, the PUP Information Linkage Systems (PUPILS) was tasked to assist the high school department in its request. The initial agreement was to customize the Integrated Student Information System (iSIS) of the college for the high school unit, but due to some differences in business logic the developers decided to create a system from scratch instead. Development started in April 2002 and the developers employed a Rapid Application Development (RAD) strategy in developing its first component – the Enrolment System (LabHiSIS-ES). The LabHiSIS package is composed of the following subsystems, namely: âž ¢ Enrolment System (LabHiSIS-ES) – a system which handles the registration needs of the students during enrolment periods. âž ¢ Student Grades Monitoring System (LabHiSIS-GMS) – a system which monitors the accumulating grades of student s. In a short period of barely two months, the PUPILS LabHiSIS development team prepared a fully functional stand-alone enrolment system. It was implemented in May 27-30, 2002 to all year levels of PUP LHS. LabHiSIS used a pre-printed implementation strategy. In this strategy, the registration certificates of the high school students were printed in advance. This facilitated the simple distribution of registration certificates to the enrollees during the enrolment proper, which were done by the enrolling advisers. After two years of implementing the Enrolment System in the department, the development team started with the development of the second subsystem. The first implementation of the Student Grades Monitoring System was implemented in SY 2003-2004. Throughout the entire development phase of the LabHiSIS systems, the system developers were guided by the following system objectives which they envision to be accomplished by the systems once operational. The LabHiSIS-Enrolment System’s objective is to automate the enrolment processing by generating a pre-assessed and a filled-up registration certificate. It shall also assist with some pre and post admission processing like the generation of unique student number. With the system, the faculty members of PUP LHS would no longer have to manually assess the matriculation and fees of the students. Though it is still not connected online to the university’s Cashiering system, the developers believe that this automation would provide a significant improvement to the LHS enrolment processes and, at the same time, introduce computerization to the PUP LHS community thereby preparing them for the second LabHiSIS module – Student Grades Monitoring System. The development of the more complicated Student Grades Monitoring System followed a multifaceted set of objectives. The objectives are as follows: 1. The Student Grades Monitoring System must automate the entire grades processing of PUP LHS from the time of its initial posting up to the generation of student Transcript of Records (TOR) for the department’s graduates. 2. SGMS shall produce highly accurate reports, namely: Temporary Quarterly Report Cards, Final Report Cards, Quarterly Summary Sheets, Student Permanent Records, Grade Sheets and Transcript of Records. 3. The system shall uphold confidentiality of student grades, thus, preventing unauthorized access to certain subject matters. The teachers will be limited to the subject assigned to them. 4. The system shall promote a high standard of grade integrity and eliminate the repetitive manual posting/inputting of grades into different kinds of reports. It shall centralize the printing of reports which is the sole responsibility of the system administrators. The administrators, though with access rights to view the grades, have no access rights to modify any of the grade entries. The faculty members are, thus, assured that the grades they have entered are the same grades to appear regardless of the report type. With this scheme, discrepancies will be avoided and the faculty would only have to input the grades once. Theoretical Framework In this study, the theory of Prof. Karl Weick, from the University of Michigan, known as Information Systems Theory was used as one of the basis for the study. The theory primarily states that â€Å"An organization should connect with information processing. Information is the key item that all organizations must possess.† 9 According to Sweeney, the theory of Karl Weick can be tested for practical utility. This means that, â€Å"The more effective communication is, the more effective the organization will be, and as a result it [organization] will be more successful.†10 The theory when properly applied to an organization can increase business control which is one of the fundamental functions of management. Efforts, however, to improve organizational performance do not instantaneously arrive as a result of having computer-based information systems. Prof. N. Kano, in his Theory on Customer Satisfaction, identified several categories of quality attributes which influence customer satisfaction. He discussed the importance of Basic, Excitement and Performance Factors as the three attributes directly involved with client satisfaction. He stated that basic factors present the minimum requirements in any product which will cause dissatisfaction if not fulfilled but do not cause customer satisfaction when fulfilled. Excitement factors tend to cause customer satisfaction whenever fulfilled but do not promote dissatisfaction if absent. Performance factors causes satisfaction if the performance is high†¦they cause dissatisfaction if the performance is low. 11 Though this theory mentions of characteristics applicable to a product, it must be noted that software is considered a product. 12 In order to guarantee customer satisfaction the product must be carefully evaluated thoroughly. The Evaluation Theory according to Prof. Mel Mark, from the Pennyslvania State University, as one of its many application provides the important key whether or not to implement a new program. In his article Evaluation Theory and What are Evaluation Methods For?, he mentioned that evaluation theory acts as a performance measurement system that can identify problem areas and provide a feedback mechanism regarding the apparent consequences of a certain decision. 13 Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework employs the Systems Approach technique. It begins with the Input Box, which represents factors that must exist before the study can take place or a phenomenon can be investigated. In this study, the inputs are the respondents of the study and the LabHiSIS-Enrolment System and LabHiSIS-Student Grades Monitoring System. The second box is the Process box. It contains all the procedures taken in the study. In the study, the process begins with data gathering through a survey questionnaire. Other information was also derived from informal interview. After data tabulation the next step was the application of a correct statistical tool. Finally, analysis and interpretation was made on the basis of the statistical results. The third box is the Output box. It shows the findings of the study regarding the efficacy of the systems. Likewise, it also aims to identify the problems encountered in the systems implementation. A return or feedback arrow signifies the repetitive and continuous nature of the process. After the findings have been concluded a new set of problems may arise which requires another inquiry or investigation. Statement of the Problem The study assessed the effectiveness of the Laboratory High School Student Information Systems, particularly its two subsystems; Enrolment System and Student Grades Monitoring System. Similarly, it aims to answer the following specific questions: To what extent do the respondents rate the effectiveness of the LabHiSIS-Enrolment System in terms of the following software quality attributes: 1. Accuracy; 2. Completeness; 3. Timeliness; 4. Reliability; 5. Security 6. User-Friendliness? To what extent do the respondents’ rate the effectiveness of the LabHiSIS-Student Grade Monitoring System in terms of the given software quality attributes: 1. What are the problems encountered in the implementation of LabHiSIS, specifically its two subsystems – Enrolment System and Student Grades Monitoring System? Significance of the Study Change is not an easy thing to embrace. It is the very nature of man to resist change. This resistance is commonly due to the fear of the unknown. Information Technology, as a catalyst of change, is a major fear factor for many institutions and individuals. Thus, this study aims to assess the LabHiSIS implementations made to PUPLHS. The main goal of the study is to identify the efficacy rating of the LabHiSIS system implementations. Findings of the study are expected to contribute to the further refinement of the system and its future implementations. The study, upon its completion, will benefit the following stakeholders of the university, namely: The University Officials/Administrators. Implementation problems identified in this study can help top management arrive at sound decisions regarding budget allocations, policy formulation, etc. The Academic and Administrative Employees of PUP LHS. Through this research the employees would be able to express their comments regarding the system so that positive changes can be taken into consideration by the developers as a result of the system assessment. The Systems Developers. The developers of the system would greatly benefit from this research mainly because the users response to the questionnaire would serve as a gauge in measuring the system performance. The weak points identified in the study can become the focus of their corrective maintenance of the system. The Future Researchers. This research can serve as a model for other studies on system implementations that other researchers might want to investigate. It is important to note that through research the precious feedback coming from the beneficiaries or system users could be obtained. In this case, the beneficiaries of the LabHiSIS systems are the students while the users are the academic and the non-teaching personnel. The Students. The last beneficiary of the system study is the students of PUP LHS. They would benefit from the improved service brought about by refinements in the system which is in turn a result of the problem identification and performance appraisal found in this study. Scope and Limitation of the Study This study is concerned with the system implementation of the LabHiSIS computerized Enrolment System and Student Grades Monitoring System to PUP Laboratory High School in school year 2004-2005. It includes all the following enrolment and grades processing activities: (1) Academic Subject Enrolment and Assessment of Matriculation and Fees; (2) Posting of Academic Grades and Non-Academic Marks and (3) Generation of Periodic and Demand Reports. In addition, the study includes the system stakeholders, namely, faculty members, non-teaching personnel and students of PUP LHS. The study is however limited to 2nd year up to 4th year students only as the first year students, in June 2005, still have no knowledge and complete experience with the two LabHiSIS subsystems. Definition of Terms The following terminologies were used as operationally defined in this study: Accuracy of information simply means that the information system is error free. Administrator is in-charge of the system security for both subsystems. As such he has access to all utilities menu commands. Completeness of the information means that all needed details are incorporated in a report or output produced by an information system. Effectiveness refers to the satisfactory performance or rating of the system based on software quality factors such as Accuracy, Completeness, Timeliness, Reliability, Security and User-Friendliness. End-users are members of the faculty and non-teaching staff of the PUP Laboratory High School who directly interact or use the computer-based information system. LabHiSIS refers to the Laboratory High School Student Information System, a computer-based information system designed to automate the enrolment and grades preparation process of PUP Laboratory High School. The system is composed of two subsystems, namely the Enrolment System and the Student Grades Monitoring System. Reliability is an information characteristic which means that the output or report produced by an information system can be depended upon by its users despite changes in the environment which may affect the system. Security refers to the ability of the system to limit accessibility of the users thus safeguarding confidential or restricted records from any form of unlawful access. Source documents, as used in this paper, pertain to the Summary Sheets from which all academic and non-academic marks of the students are initially posted by the subject teachers from their respective class records. The summary sheet is used for reference by the faculty members during the encoding of grades to SGMS. Timeliness of information is about the prompt release or issuance of a needed detail or report whenever it is needed. User Friendliness pertains to the characteristic of the information system to be easily understood by the users. Figure 1 – Paradigm of the Study FEEDBACK OUTPUT PROCESS INPUT Assessed Laboratory High School Student Information Systems (LabHiSIS): – Enrolment System (ES) – Student Grades Monitoring System (SGMS) Solutions to the Problems Encountered in the implementation of the systems. Assessment of the Laboratory High School Student Information System (LabHiSIS) Subsystems: – Enrolment System (ES), and – Student Grades Monitoring System (SGMS). Identification of the problems encountered during the systems implementation 1Naval, Victoria C., â€Å"Rethinking Prospects and Challenges of Globalization in Education†, The Mabini Review, Vol. 1. 2001 11Kano, N., â€Å"Customer Satisfaction Model†, kano_customer_satisfaction_model.html, 1984. 12Sommerville, Ian A., Software Engineering, 4th Edition, Addison – Wesley Longman Inc., 1995) pp. 5. 13Mark, Mel, â€Å"Evaluation Theory or What are Evaluation Methods For?†, 9Dudas, Marion, â€Å"Applying the Information Systems Theory to a True Situation†,, 2000. 10Sweeney, Matt C., â€Å"Information Systems Critique† ~ms101996/is.htm 8Gonzales, Jaime Y., interview held during system development start-up, Registrar’s Office, April 2002 7Gonzales, Jaime Y., PUP Laboratory High School Enrolment Procedures, 2004 6Escober, Rosicar E., PUP Information Systems Strategic Plan, College of Computer Studies, Graduate School, Dela Salle University, Manila, 1999. 2. 4Clemente, Alejandro W.D., â€Å"Use of Multi-media in DECS†, IT Education in the Philippines: Preparing for the 21st Century, pp.29-34, February 1997. 5Estrada, Joseph Ejercito, Executive Order 256, Malacaà ±ang Palace, Manila,, 2000. Laboratory High School Student Information Systems (LabHiSIS): Enrolment System (ES), and Student Grades Monitoring System (SGMS). Problems encountered in the systems implementation 2Ramos, Fidel V., â€Å"Taking the Future in our Hands†, speech delivered in the First Information Technology and Telecommunications Education Congress, Dusit Hotel Nikko Manila, February 1997. 3Alcala, Angel C., â€Å"The CHED Computerization Program: Goals, Policies and Projects†, IT Education in the Philippines: Preparing for the 21st Century, pp.25-28, February 1997.

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