bursary

–        
BURSARY
ALLOCATION SYSTEM

(A case study of Gucha Sub-county)

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TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MOMBASA

 

 

AMOS
DENNIS NYAGAKA

BTIT/004J/2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 2017

 

ABSTRACT

 

Students
from Gucha constituency face a lot of challenges when applying for bursary. In
the due process of application some end up giving up as the process is tedious
and also others apply but they are not awarded

The
project aimed at developing a complete mobile allocation system which allows
students to apply for bursary once they sign up. The system also helps reduce
paper work in the offices as a lot of forms which are filled by students are no
more in use, only forms for the first-time applicants will be used.

The
system uses waterfall model which is a sequential design process used in
software development, where progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards
through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction,
testing, implementation and maintenance. Despite the development of new
software development methodologies, the waterfall model is still the dominant
method with over a third of software developers using it.

The solution is developed using PHP
programming language and AJAX, JQuery mobile designing the interface, JQuery
and JSON for GET and POST functions. MYSQL as backend for the purposes of
application database support. Phone-gap and Cordova are the platforms that are
used in developing the application. This project is a dynamic tool meeting
students’ needs and convenient delivery. In conclusion the system enhances
efficiency, reliability and data security and therefore it is the best suited
for use in bursary allocation.           

 

CHAPTER
ONE

                                                       INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Project
background

 

Computers
have become part of life for accessing any kind of information, life in the 21st
century is full of technological advancement and in this age, it is very
difficult for any organization to survive without utilizing technology.

Today
many institutions have chosen to focus on a wide area of service and conducting
their business online, this has been made possible by the use of information
technology in their systems. For many students, M-Bursary allocation system
bridges the gap between education and the area of work. The challenge they face
is to successfully manage the multitude of bursary applications in a cost
effective and efficient way. Students apply their bursary using forms which are
manually kept in files through writing. The records are also stored manually,
the system simplifies complexities giving organizations the power over data and
enabling more students to receive bursary funding.

The
system enables students to apply bursaries on their mobile phones, it helps
organization in reducing paper work and also provide safer means of data
storage. The system reduces the load on the organization end as the entire
process of bursary application is automated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2 Problem statement

 

Students from Gucha subcounty face alot of challenges
when applying for bursary as a result of the criteria which is used in awarding
the bursary. Some of the challenges includes tribalism where a certain tribe is
more considered than the other tribes. Nepotism is another problem which make a
certain group to benefit based on the family background and the family members
who are involved in the bursary comitte. As aresult of these challenges many
needy students doesn’t get the bursary 
as suppossed and therefore the student kitty ends up to the wrong
beneficiary.   Also the bursary forms
being delivered and worked on is another issue as it can be mishandled leading
to misplacement.

1.3 Objectives of the study

 

1.3.1 General
objective

The
general objectives of the study is to come up with a system that allows for
mobile bursary allocation.

1.3.2 Specific objectives:

       
i.           
Analyze the current system used for applying
bursary in order to develop and establish a better system to improve the
operations in-bursary application process.

      ii.           
 Design a dynamic solution based on the
information analysis acquired from data collection to develop a functional
mobile allocation system.

    iii.           
Develop mobile allocation system that
meets the user requirements.

    iv.           
Test the system if it meets the user
requirements

 

CHAPTER
TWO

LITERATURE
REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

Literature
review is the evaluation of information found in existing literature related to
selected area of study. It is an assessment of the existing literature and
systems.  Over the years different mobile
applications have been developed for different organizations. However, little
focus has been directed to such systems that have been developed to meet the
requirements of that particular organization. With a view to developing a
better system, review of the existing literature and systems must be done so as
to source information on their functionality. This involves identifying the
functionalities of various modules of the existing system so as to gain basic
idea of developing a system effective enough to compete strongly in the market.
Information fetched is of great significance.

 

2.2 Theoretical
review

Theoretical
review provides a benchmark into the existing systems information. It helps in
gaining necessary information relevant to the area of study about bursary and
their different types. Bursaries are funds for students in financial need,
bursaries unlike loans do not have to be paid back. To be eligible for bursary
you must be able to demonstrate financial need while also meeting the academic
requirements. Most students apply for various bursary in order to raise the
required amount of fee. ”A large proportion of students with a perceived family
income that would have entitled them to a full or partial maintenance grant did
not consider themselves eligible (42 and 53% respectively)” (Mangan, Hughes, & Slack, 2010). In addition to that”
It
reviews evidence suggesting that students targeted for bursaries are
unresponsive to financial inducements, and place a high priority on provision
that is local and socially comfortable”(Harrison & Hatt, 2012) The process of
bursary application is done by filling forms which involves a lot of paper
work. Through the application process there are many cases of needy applicants
who have never received any bursary while a significant number of non-needy
students have always been awarded the bursary.

“The
degree to which these new bursaries and discretionary financial support has
become a policy instrument for improving access and widening participation has
not, as yet, been documented, little is known about why the government
introduced bursaries and what the government saw as their role. Even less is
known about the type of bursaries they have introduced or how they are being
used, because till now they have not been examined systematically.”(Callender,
2010). In addition to the financial support students get from bursary, an
interview conducted by certain scholar “the data suggest that bursary students are well motivated and
determined to succed. But it is unclear wether this is due to the additional
fainancial support or the process of conscious choice through which they have
enterd higher education”.(Hatt,Hannan,Baxter & Harrison,2007s).

There are  also other
problems such as time wastage and lots of paper work that arise from this kind
of this scenario, the problem can be solved by computerizing the whole process
through the development of a mobile application that will carry out specific
functions that are currently done manually, A recent study by a group
based on automation of systems facilitates in having higher levels of retention
and success, exhibiting particularly positive attitudes towards student studies
and their institution. These findings are then placed in the wider context of
government policy on widening participation and student financial support
between 1997 and 2006, considering whether any lessons learned are relevant to
the post-2006 system of university-specific bursaries monitored by the Office
for Fair Access (OFFA)(Harrison, Baxter, & Hatt, 2011).

With
the manual system the problem arises when those in authority undermines their
duties and do no follow up how the process of bursary allocation is carried
out.”Most of the leaders are reluctant
to follow up wether the money gets to the specified destionation. Those in
authorities missuse the funds and end up destroying any kind of evidence that
can lead to the discovery on how the 
money was used”(Onuko, 2012). Another author conclude that,
“unsurprisingly in an increasingly market-driven system, institutions use
access agreements primarily to promote enrolment to their own programs rather
than to promote system-wide objectives. As a consequence of this marketing
focus, previous differences between pre-1992 and post-1992 institutions in
relation to widening participation and fair access are perpetuated, leading to
both confusion for consumers and an inequitable distribution of bursary and other
support mechanisms for the poorest applicants”(McCaig & Adnett, 2009).

2.3 System Review

There
are others ways in which bursary application and processing can be carried out
but there is no prototype that that can be applied to all. The following are
few among the several systems with varying degrees of functionalities depending
on the user requirements.

 

2.3.1 TVET bursary
system.

TVET
is a nationwide bursary application platform offered by Higher Education Loans
Board (HELB). It supports university/college students taking technical courses
in diploma and degree. For one to access the system he/she is required to
register with the board by creating an account with them. Students from all
over the country have access to it since it’s online and has no time limits.

After
registering with them one can apply for the bursary online by filling his
details and submitting them online. One is obligated to download and print the
form and submit it to the board attaching all the required details.

The
site address is: www.helb.co.ke.

Figure 2. 1 HELB
system

2.3.2
Scottish online bursary application system.

The scottish social services council(SSSC) is the
regulator for the social services workforce in Scotland. Their work means the
people of scotland can count on social services being provided by a trusted,
skilled and confident workforce. They protect the public by registering social
service workers, setting standards for their practice, conduct training and
educaion by supporting their proffesional development. Where people fall below
the standards ofpractice and conduct they can investigate and take action. In
relation to the social works they havee come up with an online bursary
application system which sends username and password for the user to be able to
login into the system and then fill the online bursary application form.

 

 

 

Figure 2. 2 Scottish
Services Council

2.4 System critique

A
detailed analysis of the above sites offering Bursary application services has some features missing. M-Bursary allocation
system addresses the missing features.

2.4.1 TVET bursary system.

TVET
bursary system is web based system that enables to apply bursary online. The
system has a drawback whereby it cannot be used on mobile gadgets. Also the
applicant has to apply again when in need of bursary as there is no track of
information about the user that can be traced from the system. M-Bursary
application offers better personalization as which the TVET bursary system has not realized.  

2.4.2 Scottish
online bursary application system.

Scottish
online bursary application system is web based too therefore it cannot perform
when it is offline as compared to mobile applications. Although apps too might
require internet connectivity to perform most of their tasks, they can still
offer basic content and functionality to users in offline mode

2.5 Summary

From the above findings there is a need for a system
which will cater for the above limitations, hence the  proposal for an M-Bursary allocation system
which provides user support, is not proprietary as their turnover is not doing
so well, cross-platform to enable all computers with different operating
systems to be used and user friendly.

 

                                                     
CHAPTER THREE

SYSTEM
ANALYSIS AND DESIGN

 

3.1 Introduction

 

This chapter
is about the tools and methodology used to design the proposed system. The
logical and functional desing of the proposed 
system is also illustrated through relevant tables and diagrams

3.2 Development
Approach

3.2.1 System design

System design mainly deals with the software development activities
whose main objective is to:

i.Understand the system.

ii.Understand the different phases development life
cycle.

iii.Know the components of the system analysis and
design.

The following are the commonly known development cycle.

3.2.2 Planning

All the requirements of the system are gathared using
interview method, in others the data requirements document is used to agree
requirements with clients to make sure that it is easly understood. During this
time a consistent gannt chart is developed for project management.

3.2.3 Analysis

The aim of analysis is to obtain a detailed description
of the data that suits clients requirements so that both high and low level
properties of data and their use are dealt with. This include properties such
as the possible range of values that can be permitted for attributes. The
conceptual data model provides a shared, formal represantation of what is being
communicated between the client and developer during database develoment. The
current system is analyzed using UML class diagram. Mean while database systems
are analyzed using context and data flow diagram.

3.2.4 Design

System analysis leads to design decesion, which exactly
determines how the system operates in terms of the process, data, hardware,
network infrastructure, user interface and other important factors in the
system enviroment.

3.2.5 Implimentation

Implimentation phase is probably the most resource, cost,
and time consuming phase of all. It is when the system is actually built,
tested and finally installed. It involves activites such as user training and
system mainatainace.

3.2.6 Testing

Testing compares the implimented system against the
database design documents and requirements specification and produces an
acceptance report or more usually a list of errors that require a review of the
analysis,design and implementation process to correct. Testing is usually
considered to involve two main task validation and verification, without
aadequate testing users will have little confidence in their data processing.

3.3 Project
Design

The system developer preferred using the waterfall
methodolgy which is a sequential design process. This means that each of the
eight phases are completed the developers move on the next phase. There’s no
room for change or error so a project outcome and an extensive plan must be set
in the beggining and then followed carefuly.

Waterfall involvles the following phases:

Conception

Triggers when a problem is percieved. This process
involves identifying the goals to be achieved and estimatingg the benefit the
system will have over the current system. This phase involves development of
business case which provides the information that the manager requires in order
to determine wether to support a proposed project before allocation of resources.

Initiation

It invovles a macro level study of customer requirements.
It also invovles defining alternative solutions to the requirements and cost
benefit justification.

Analysis

Study is carried out about the customer requirements and
the exact requirement is arrived at of the propse system. In this phase
freezing of the requirements is done before the design phase begins.

Design

It invovles 
transalation of the identified requirements into logical structure thats
is implemented using programming logic.

Construction

The phase that invovles intergrating and testing all the
modules  developed in the previous phase
for the completion of the system.

 

Intergrating
and testing

The phase where the modules developed in the previous
phase are intergrated and tested as a complete system.

 

 

Implimentation
and maintainance

The system design is converted into operation. It may
invovle the software system implimentation and staff training before the
software system being functional implemented.

3.3.1 Justification of the design

Advantages of waterfall
methodology

This
model is simple and easy to understand and use.
It is
easy to manage due to the rigidity of the model – each phase has specific
deliverables and a review process.
In this
model phases are processed and completed one at a time. Phases do not
overlap.
Waterfall
model works well for smaller projects where requirements are very well
understood.

 

Disavantages of waterfall  methodology

                   
i.           
Once
a step has been completed, developers can’t go back to a previous stage and
make changes.

                 
ii.           
Waterfall
methodology relies heavly on initial reqirements. However if this requirements
are faulty in any manner the project is doomed.

               
iii.           
If a
requirement error is found or change needs to be made, the project has to start
from the begginning with all new code.

Waterfall
methodology

Figure 3. 1
Waterfall Methodoly Diagram

3.4 Fact finding approach

This section discuss the research design, target
population, sample size and the sampling technique, research instruments, data
collection procedures and various methods of data collection instruments that
is being used in the course of the project.

3.5 Research design

The research design for this project is sampling which is
a technique where a group of subjects is selected from a larger group for case
study. Each individual is chosen entirely by chance and each member of the
population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. The probability
sampling design technique was used by simple random method as it is simple, not
biased and not time consuming. The target population is approximately 80
employees only a sample of 25 staff will be sufficient for this study. This was
convinient becauseof the scope of inquiry, time and finances for the research.

3.6 Sample and sample techniques

The employees will be divided into startum according to
their outlet since the population heterogenious, stratified random sampling
technique was graphed. Two representatives were selected from each outlet who’s
simple random sampling was conducted to select a few employees, questionnaires
wer then distributed to the staff as per outlet. Each outlet was given two
questinnaires.

3.7  Data collection tools

Questionnaire method of data collection was adopted to
collect primary data. The questionnaires administered contained closed ended
questions and were hand delivered to the targeted group. The method was
preffered because most staff could only spend a short time to complete the
questionnaire and since they are pressured with the nature of their work there
was no time for lenghty discussion. The respondents were required to tick from
the option given.

3.7.1 Sequence
diagram

These
diagrams are used to describe the flow of activities of a user.

 

Figure 3. 2 sequence diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.7.2 System flow diagram

The flow chart below shows the flow of data in the
bursary allocation system. For the user to use the system they are required to
register first, then they can be abe to login into the system. Both the users
and administrators can be able to perform the rolesas shown on the diagram.

                                                                 
Start

 

 

 

                                                                                      
No

 

                                                               
Yes                                                          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Figure
3. 3 System Flow Diagram                                                                                              

3.7.4 Use case diagram

The figure below shows a usecase diagram that captures the interaction
between the system, users and the administrator. Since the system contains
confidential informtion about users a secure login is required. The admin who
is in charge of managing the overall data can either login or logout of the
system, register incoming users and update their information.

Figure 3. 4 Use Case Diagram

 

REFERENCES 

Harrison, N., Baxter, A., & Hatt, S. (2007). From
opportunity to OFFA: discretionary bursaries and their impact. Journal of
Access Policy and Practice, 5(1), 3–21.

Harrison, N., & Hatt,
S. (2012). Expensive and failing? The role of student bursaries in widening
participation and fair access in England. Studies in Higher Education, 37(6),
695–712.

Mangan, J., Hughes, A.,
& Slack, K. (2010). Student finance, information and decision making. Higher
Education, 60(5), 459–472.

Onuko, J. A. (2012). Impact
of bursary schemes on retention of students in public secondary schools in Gem
district, Kenya. The University of Nairobi. Retrieved from
http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/10939

 

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