Development of RFID and mobile application based attendance management system: a case study of secondary schools in Tanzania
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In recent years, the development of different technologies has opened new possibilities for different activities to be accomplished easily in a smooth way. The rapid development in mobile phone technologies especially mobile phone based information system has contributed much in facilitating automation of activities in different sectors like Education, Agriculture, Health, etc. Mobile phone technology has continued to evolve in terms of computation power, speed, memory capacity and screen size. Many mobile applications for different activities especially on the Android platform as the free software are being developed. Another technology which has shown tremendous development and application in the recent years is the Radio Frequency Identification. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects(wikipedia). It has been around for many decades but now days it is becoming the more relied technology in the area of tracking objects due to its low cost and accuracy as compared to other auto-ID technologies like biometric systems and barcodes. The most interesting and widely used applications of RFID include those for supply chain management, security, and the tracking of important objects and personnel(Weinstein, 2005). Based on the suitability, development and applicability of both RFID and mobile phone technologies, this research analyze and develop the low cost RFID and mobile application based attendance management system which is proposed to be used in ordinary level schools to efficiently manage student attendances. The system is proposed and designed in consideration of financial capacity and environmental challenges of educational institutions especially ordinary level schools in Tanzania. Currently, the attendance management of both students and employees is being done manually using attendance registers. Employees’ signs the attendance register book in the morning using attendance register books where for students, the responsible personnel call a roll call every day using attendance register books. Manual way of taking students and employees’ attendance using attendance registers and class journals is inefficient, time consuming and error prone. This system aims to replace the manual paper based system.