Efforts by Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture
Strengthening communication between teachers and parents
Reliable information transmission to parents is realized with IT tools that have a low introduction burden
Uruma City Board of Education School Education Department School Education Section School Education Section Manager Tetsuhiro Miyagi
*The following is an excerpt from Municipal Communication Vol.44 (November 2021 issue), and the article is at the time of the interview.
Many teachers and staff are wasting their time communicating information to parents and coping with communication loss using conventional analog communication methods such as paper and telephone. In order to solve these problems, Uruma City (Okinawa Prefecture) introduced IT tools as a means of communication between teachers and parents. We asked Mr. Miyagi of the city’s board of education about the background to the introduction, its effects, and future utilization policies.
The reading confirmation function reduces the workload of faculty and staff
―What kind of problems were there in communication between parents and teachers in the first place?
About 10 years ago, I used paper media such as prints and contact books, as well as a bulk email transmission service, but I was worried about whether all the information would be delivered to my parents. did. There is a risk that children may lose paper media or forget to give it to their parents, and parents may miss emails. Therefore, when communicating important matters, it was necessary for faculty and staff to contact each school by phone.
When we were looking for a way to reduce the burden on schools, we received a proposal from Riso Kagaku Corporation, with whom we have had many years of business dealings through printer delivery and maintenance. That was “Scrile,” which allowed parents and teachers to communicate with each other via a smartphone app. Introduced from 2021.
―What was the decisive factor for the introduction?
One is that the introduction burden is small. The function to send letters and messages such as class communication from faculty and staff to guardians can be used free of charge. With a total of about 12,600 children attending public elementary and junior high schools in the city, it was financially difficult to cover them with paid services. In addition, there is no need to install software on special equipment or school PCs, and it can be used immediately after installation.
In addition, when parents view advertisements in the app, there is also a function to accumulate points that can be exchanged for school equipment.
―What kind of effects did you get after you actually introduced it?
Since there is a read confirmation function that allows faculty and staff to check at a glance whether parents have checked letters and messages, when communicating important matters, only parents who have not read and parents who do not use “Scrile” I’m better off making phone calls. About 80 to 90% of parents use the system in about six months after its introduction because it is easy to use because it does not require the registration of personal information such as names and phone numbers. In order to further improve work efficiency, some schools have begun to use optional functions such as a function that can collectively manage children’s attendance and health observation contacts.
Highly rated on-site, considering public funding for paid functions
―Please tell us about your future utilization policy.
Since the site is highly evaluated, we are considering whether the board of education can cover the cost of using the paid optional function in a lump sum, rather than having each school bear the cost. In addition, although the introduction is currently limited to public elementary and junior high schools, we hope that it will be introduced to private schools, in addition to kindergartens, nursery schools and high schools, in order to further improve convenience for parents. We will continue to proactively use Scrile to reduce the work burden on teachers and create an environment where parents can leave their children with peace of mind.
Significant improvement in information transmission rate
It was an impression that the information was not sufficiently conveyed to the guardians in the conventional communication by paper media. When contacting with “Skurire”, a push notification is sent to the parent’s smartphone, which has greatly improved the information transmission rate. In the future, we will make further use of this system to interact with graduates in order to create an open school.
voice of vice principal
Active in attendance communication during the corona crisis
It was very helpful in contacting attendance during the corona misfortune. At our school, there are only 2 telephone lines for 861 children. It was difficult to deal with the sudden increase in attendance by telephone. With “Scrile”, you can check attendance notifications all at once, and you can confirm attendance accurately in a short time.
You can check the state of the school with photos
In addition to the high level of convenience, I am grateful that the teachers are now actively posting pictures of the school situation. The sense of security in school life has increased, and conversations with children have become lively. I was happy when the teacher shared the photos of the school trip on the day.
Perspectives of supporting companies
Specifications that can be introduced even in schools with financial difficulties
RISO KAGAKU CORPORATION General Manager Digital Communication Division Nobuyuki Nakayama
Many schools have trouble communicating information from teachers to parents. Through the provision of printing equipment, we have been helping to reduce the workload of faculty and staff. Under such circumstances, we newly developed “Skurire” by utilizing IT.
During the development process, we focused on making it possible to introduce and operate the system with little effort. Therefore, we have made the basic function of sending letters free of charge and made it unnecessary to register personal information of parents. The biggest feature is that parents can earn points by viewing advertisements in the app, and schools can exchange those points for equipment. If this system expands, I expect that it will contribute to work style reform and financial aspects.
Profile of Nobuyuki Nakayama
In 1999, joined Riso Kagaku Corporation. After being in charge of maintenance at the sales site and planning in the development department, he has been in his current position since 2021. He also serves as the representative director of the Association for Promotion of Educational Activities.
Riso Kagaku Corporation
|Start a business||September 1946|
|amount of sales||69,313,000,000 yen (Continued and Reiwa 4-year March period)|
|number of employees||2,970 (whole group, as of March 31, 2022)|
|Business content||Development and provision of high-speed color printer ORPHIS, digital printer RISOGRAPH hardware, related equipment, consumables, and digital tools|
|Contact email email@example.com|
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