Online departmental fee management system (ODFMS)is a research work that will help build an effective information management system for Ahmadu Bello University within the computer science department. The designed software will serve as a more reliable and effective means of documenting departmental fees payment and cash payment and eliminate errors associated with the manual method of recording payment details. This project work made use of data collected from the school library, faculty, department and some online websites. The aim of this project work is to achieve the following; to effectively and efficiently process student’s department fees payment and document it, to provide a reliable and transparent system devoid of personal inclinations and interest and to provide borderless access to ensure prompt retrieval. The implementation of the web-based department fee payment software system was developed using PHP: Hypertext Processor programming language for the front-end and My Structured Query Language (MySQL) for data storage. The result obtained from this work was the design of an efficient system that helped in enhancing the system of payment for the department, with minimal cases of error which gave room for accuracy and transparency. In conclusion, the work met all the objectives intended.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have made impact in all sectors of the society, including education. In higher education, application of ICTs in form of e-learning is changing the mode of learning and teaching processes [Abrazhevich, D. (2004).]. School management is now done online, records are being kept in databases that are accessible through the web. Also, Registration, payment of schoolfees, generating timetables and much more are done using the web. The world of IT has gone far and wide that now makes us see the importance of using automated system rather than manual system. Referring to the problem of school fees, faculty fees, departmental fees and hostel allocation as the Online Departmental Fees Management System (ODFMS) problem. Given the large number of students that are typically involved in such problem, there is a growing interest in automating the process of payment using centralized matching schemes that incorporate efficient algorithms for ODFMS. Examples of similar automated systems are in use in several universities.
In recent years, the advancement of technology has thus brought us into a new era of Web based systems. These systems are also known as enquiry systems and have the ability to input data, with a guaranteed response time and an assurance that the information is accurate and timely, then one is said to have a “Real Time System” [LaPlante, Philip A., (2007)]. A real time system is also a Web based system and comprises mainly of four (4) main components:
i. A data-gathering component that collects data from the external environment.
ii. An analysis component that transforms the received information as required by the application.
iii. A control component that responds to the external environment.
iv. A monitoring component that co-ordinates all other form of these components so that real-time response can be achieved.
Due to these advancements, organization need no longer be centralized when information services can reach the home and offices for processing from a number of geographical locations. However, Web based systems have helped tremendously in every field of human existence today. Hence this project work provides and creates an Online Departmental Fees Management System (ODFMS) to the Ahmadu Bello University, Computer Science department through the development of a Web based system that will in turn improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the university.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In most Nigerian Institutions of higher learning especially the Universities and Polytechnics, student’s enrolment to these higher institutions is continuously on the increase, and each year every student is expected to register for a session and therefore the student has to make payment for the session. This increase in student’s population over the years makes the period of registration stressful and payment of school fees and hostel accommodation a very tedious exercise. The existing system of payment of departmental fees in Computer Science department, Ahmadu Bello University, involves a student going online to generate a transaction ID which is then taken to the bank for payment. If the student needs to pay school fees, he/she also have to go online, generate another transaction ID and then take it back to the bank. This process is causing a lot of problems because many students will have to line up in unending queues in banks where so many unforeseen events might happen. A student might lose his/her money; get tired due to stress and so many other events. Most students during registration are always at home and will have to come back to school for registration because most banks outside Uli does not provide this service.
The existing system or mode of payment results to stress due to the factors and conditions encountered during registration. Every new and returning student has to register at the beginning of every session. Most students are in a state of confusion during registration either because they do not currently have the money to pay for their departmental fees or will have to come down to school to pay during process with no guaranteed that he/she will be successful.
The processes of manual departmental fees payment can result to problems which in turn prevent students from writing exams in time, maybe due to the slow rate of processing the departmental fees or from the misplacement of the departmental fee tellers because of lack of adequate storage medium.
Based on these observations, a Web based system for Payment which will enable students overcome these problems during registration is designed and implemented. The system will allow a student to open an account at a designated bank and keep his/her school fees in the account anytime and any day. Due to the present situation of the country, parents can also keep their children’s entire school fees in their account. Therefore, the system allows you to keep your school fees incrementally or at once. The development of this Web based system will eliminate the major problems of the existing system.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this thesis is to design and develop an Automatic Portal Payment System (ODFMS) which handles effectively the payment and processing of departmental fees and allows students to securely and comfortably pay their departmental fees from anywhere, using any internet-enabled device. To achieve the stated objective, the following objectives were laid out:
i. Create a Web based system that will solve the problems of the existing system being used for departmental fees processing.
ii. Develop a secured database system for easy data storage and retrieval
iii. Allow students to pay their school fees and hostel accommodation anywhere and anytime during registration.
iv. Ease and speed up payment processing by incorporating an attractive and rich user interface with search algorithms present for faster data retrieval and eliminate anything that can cause confusion.
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