B.C. Government scraps scrap $89 Million in school software

The B.C. government says it will scrap an $89 million software program to track elementary and high school students’ attendance and marks after a report by consultant Gartner concluded the software needs to be replaced.

The province says schools will have to use the program until a new system is implemented in 2014.

Introduced six years ago, the B.C. Student enterprise Information System (BCeSIS) has faced a host of complaints, including that it was expensive for cash-strapped school districts and unreliable. Last year, the system had a province-wide crash in the first week of school.

A $250k review of the system by Gartner said the system is not meeting the needs of the province and schools. The review concluded the system was not generally user-friendly, didn’t provide satisfactory reports and data analysis, and would be more difficult to service and upgrade as it got older.

The current software was created specifically for the province and cost $16 million to build and about $11 million a year to maintain and operate. The province also provided $6.6 million in incentives for schools to adopt the software.

Gartner has suggested B.C. now buy existing off-the-shelf software.