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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - IST-Africa Week Conference, 2016
Title Cloud SAMS: Cloud computing solution for public schools within South Africa's ‘second economy’
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7530689/
Cloud computing is coming of age; it involves on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. There is an emerging consensus that cloud computing will play a critical role in redressing the digital divide especially in rural areas of Africa. In this paper, we report on a success story to this end; the use of cloud computing in expanding the access of students' records management system to resource-constrained schools in the Free State province of South Africa. This was motivated by the fact that despite the proven tight correlation between availability of data and quality of education, many schools that are considered part of the `second economy' in South Africa continue to operate in uni-direction data flow arrangements that do not provide them with adequate data for critical decision making. We implemented and evaluated a Cloud based School Administration and Management System; hereby called `Cloud SAMS' for these resource-constrained schools in the province (they account for over 80% of all schools). Starting off with 5 schools and later ramping it up to 50, `Cloud SAMS' enables schools to securely and privately share one copy of the system maintained in the cloud; this brings on board several benefits - low cost, faster implementation and resilience to failures.

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