eSignatures for Education

e-Signatures for Education

Digitising forms and administrative workflows with Conclude’s e-signing solutions is a simple way for schools and other educational institutions to cut costs and make administration, registration, and enrollment easier and more convenient for parents, students, and staff.

Conclude’s Take

There are typically many documents to complete, sign, and return to a school as part of the enrollment process. These documents typically include: 

  • Parent / Guardian Information
  • Applicant/s information
  • Financial Contract
  • Code of conduct
  • Certified copies of supporting documents (ID’s, birth certificates, photos, proof of residence, bank account details, etc.)

Our research has shown that every school operates differently, but many still rely on risky and poorly secured hard copy or digital forms. Some schools gather some information using some sort of online process (e.g. Google Forms, or a bespoke digital forms-based website)  in an attempt to digitise the process. However, there is no complete solution that runs through the process from beginning to end and is :

  • Easy to use,
  • POPIA Compliant, and
  • Enforces electronic/digital signatures that are fully compliant and admissible in court as per the ECT act.

The Problem with Paper

Have you ever considered how much the paper and printing cost of all the paperwork involved in each year’s new enrollments are cutting into already tight school budgets?  What about the administrative overheads involved in sorting, filing,  securing, and storing all that paper?  

The amount of administration involved in running a school is significant. For one thing, any parent who has ever had to fill in and sign the stacks of paper issued by their child’s school at the beginning of every school year will be able to relate to the tedium and writer’s cramp this produces!  Similarly, as a teacher or administrator, you know how much work is involved in managing the documents and forms schools generate!

Schools are also custodians of a great deal of highly confidential personal information and it is becoming more and more important to properly protect this information, especially in the light of growing information security risks in South Africa and legislation like POPIA.

In short, a paper-heavy administrative process costs money, wastes time, and creates security risks for your school.

Did You Know

Most South African organisations use a Standard Electronic Signature (SES) to apply an electronic signature to documents. 

However, under South Africa’s ECT Act, SES’s are only valid if:

  • The signatory (or document’s sender) is clearly identified,
  • The signature indicates the signatory’s approval of the information contained in the document,
  • The signature is appropriate for the document at the time of signature, and
  • A timestamp is included in the SES

 

Conclusion

The last 2 points are where many solutions, including electronic processes that schools use fall short. But, many are not fully compliant with South African legislation. It is also possible to fake this kind of signature.

Rather ease life and get in touch with Conclude to help you with your e-signing solutions for education.

 

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