Provincial student information system inadequate

Nanaimo teachers are worried the province could be replacing one bad system with another if it chooses to switch to a new centralized student data system.

Nanaimo teachers are worried the province could be replacing one bad system with another if it chooses to switch to a new centralized student data system.

Last fall, teachers spoke out about problems with the British Columbia enterprise Student Information System (BCeSIS), the system introduced in 2006 to centralize data collection in school districts. Shortly after, the province hired a consultant to look at how to improve the system and evaluate others.

The report found that “BCeSIS, as currently deployed, is not meeting the business, technical or operational needs of B.C. and is not a viable future alternative.”

While the system is capable of supporting the business and technical requirements for the next few years, the report indicates significant investment would be required to evolve the application to support the future vision and direction of the B.C. public education sector and looking into other available systems is recommended.

Derek DeGear, president of the Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association, said change is definitely needed because the system keeps crashing at times of peak usage, such as the beginning of the school year, as it did last year, and at report card time.

“I think it caused more problems for teachers and the district than solutions,” he said.

While teachers would like to see it replaced with another common system for all districts, data should be stored locally, not on a central server, said DeGear.

“The centralization creates overload issues,” he said. “They’re replacing one bad system with another bad system.”

Teachers have concerns about security breaches and how the province uses the information collected from schools, said DeGear.

He said the province is publishing more and more data coming from schools via BCeSIS, information that could identify individual students or classes.

It is easy to transfer student information from school to school or district to district, DeGear added.

BCeSIS cost $16 million to build and about $11 million a year to maintain and operate. Districts pay $10 per student for the system – more than $130,000 for Nanaimo.

The district would welcome improvements to the system, given the problems educators have had in the past with the system freezing up at peak times, said spokeswoman Donna Reimer, adding that there was no major system-wide crash this fall as there was last September.

She said the district has some concerns about the costs of implementing a new or improved system, but recognizes that changes are needed.

In an e-mailed response, Education Minister George Abbott said BCeSIS is a good system, but it could be more user friendly and will not meet future demands.

He said the province is not making decisions about a replacement at this time and it plans to consult with users of the system to create a new tool that meets the needs of the school system and the ministry.

 

 

Just Posted

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read