Computer Point has installed an automated academic records processing system worth $861,784 (about sh15b) at Makerere University. The system will facilitate access of student academic records at the click of a button, replacing archaic manual methods.

P.K Kuruvilla, the Computer Point chairman, said the system integrates financial, human resource and academic records.

"Students will access their academic records promptly, register without queuing and obtain academic transcripts without physical movement of files," Kuruvilla told guests at the commissioning of the integrated academic records, financial system and human resources information system (AFH) at Makerere University recently.

The software, developed by Integrated Tertiary Systems of South Africa, also helps the university to immediately access debtor and creditor records compared to the previous method of manually going through piles of files.

"It is core business processes have now been radically shifted from tedious manual processes that created a lot of frustration to an instantaneous digital process," Kuruvilla explained.

Dr. Ham Mukasa Mulira, the Information and Communications Technology minister, who commissioned the project, said the development showed the university's determination to utilise ICT to match international standards. Mulira called upon the university administration to ensure that the newly-installed system enables students to access their personal records online and get full year time table schedules. He emphasised that the system should create efficiency and transparency in academic, financial and human resource management.

Prof. Livingstone Luboobi, the Vice-Chancellor, disclosed that prior to the installation of the system, the university was faced with large volumes of paper work.

Luboobi explained that the manual process involved queuing for receipts at the counters, manual writing of receipts, and manual preparation of reports and tedious manual verification of bank slips.

"With the installation of the budgeting procurement, counter system, cash book and students debtors modules, there has been a drastic reduction in the queues," he added.

Luboobi added that the system aids computerised verification of slips, computerised issuing of receipts for cheques and drafts and online monitoring of bank balances. He said the system was reliable to detect errors and minimise fraud.

He pointed out that the system would enable the pension officer to monitor and track the deductions and contributions of each staff member so as to improve the process of paying pension and retirement benefits.Computer Point, operating in Uganda since 1991, has brought landmark developments in data systems as far as ICT is concerned, according to Kuruvilla.

The firm also provides disaster recovery solutions in case of loss of business and mission-critical data. The company has provided disaster recovery solutions to MTN, Celtel, DFCU, the World Food Programme, the Electoral Commission, and the Bank of Uganda.

The Makerere project, funded by NORAD, builds a strong digital platform on which further substantial IT achievements can be made at the university. In the next phase of the project, Kuruvilla said, students would be able to access their coursework, exam results and financial data on the Internet, with lecturers able to post assignments, coursework and examination results on the university website. Lecturers would also be able to post assignments, coursework and examination results on the university website.

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