Scanning QR codes is becoming a norm everywhere these days, but for some schools and educational institutions it is a technology with costs burning in their pockets.
While Akif Rabbani was still studying at UNITEN in June 2020, he was approached by his high school ICT teacher to find out whether or not there were cheaper solutions for QR attendance and temperature taking for schools.
“A solution billed at RM 35 / student / month. Imagine if a school had 2000 students it would cost them 70k RM per month just for a simple system. So I thought, is it possible to build it myself and make it more accessible to people? Akif shared with Vulcan Post.
Therefore, he took matters into his own hands and worked with his peers to create one for his high school, SMK Bandar Rinching. Fortunately, it received positive feedback after its deployment, and word has spread to other schools about their technology, Datang.my.
Make it affordable for schools
Datang.my currently consists of a team of 8 people, including Akif, most of whom are also from UNITEN with computer training. They are currently working on developing and improving their technology full time.
Their most basic plan is free, where you can get features like:
- Attendance register
- Registration of visitors or guests
- Analysis of the attendance report
- Temperature recording
- Connect with a thermometer
- Integration of the RFID card
- SMS notification (0.09 RM per SMS)
- Multi-user access
Note that the SMS function consists of sending notifications to the parents of the students who wish to have this information. And for the convenience of teachers, they can enter different class sessions on the app and account for attendance accordingly.
To make attendance analysis more accurate, teachers can also override dates that are school vacations to accurately match the attendance rate on school days.
Since their QR technology is free, Datang.my actually generates revenue by selling devices like wireless Bluetooth infrared thermometers and QR / RFID scanners with their system. These would be the investments schools would need to make for the first time in moving from pen-and-paper to contactless systems.
If you are a school that already has these technologies, you can connect your thermometer to your phone which can be integrated into the Datang.my ecosystem.
They also offer premium packages starting at RM33 / location / month which allows users to have personalized ID card, merit system etc.
Because some schools prohibit students from bringing phones, they have created a system that requires participants to each bring a QR code, which almost looks like an ID card, to scan for attendance and check-in. temperature. So schools that may want to like their students’ QR attendance cards can opt for more premium features.
And if a student forgets to bring their QR card, there’s a section in the app with all of the student names that a teacher can click to mark their attendance.
“Since data privacy is important, we can’t see which places are registered with which organization unless they are willing to share the data with us. But as of now, over 2,000 schools have told us that they are using Datang.my in their schools, ”Akif said of user acquisition.
Some principals still prefer to attend the old fashioned way
Although their technology seems to be rather well received by various institutions and is quite affordable, it is still not the cup of tea of some schools.
“One of our users complained that they had fully configured Datang.my in their school, but when they suddenly changed principals, he wanted to ditch the system because he has more confidence in pen attendance and paper that provides a physical copy, ”Akif shared with Vulcan Post.
Surprisingly, this happened in Akif’s own school, where they piloted this solution system to become what it is today. “So far, we cannot convince the new principal to use our technology developed by his own alumni. It’s really heartbreaking, ”he lamented.
With every product and service, there are only certain groups of people who are not the right target audience. Despite this, Akif said that more than 18,000 places have registered with their system, which includes kindergartens, schools, universities, offices, factories, religious institutions, and more.
Now, even though Datang.my during the pandemic to solve an unprofitable solution, he also made it clear that their solution system has always been built with post-pandemic relevance in mind due to its convenience.
- You can read more about Datang.my here.
- You can read more about other startups we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Akif Rabbani, Datang.my
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