Project Overview

(Last updated 18 August 2003)


The vision for the new school management system is that it will serve the educators at schools, first and foremost. Its Open Source nature will allow third party contributions, especially from learners and staff within schools that use the software. Its initial use is intended for South Africa but there is definite potential for its widespread use in other countries, with particular focus on African countries.

The predominant focus of the system is to provide administrative support to schools, including and definitely not limited to the management of:

Additional focusses have been considered for the future, including:

Yet Another School Management System

With numerous Open source and proprietary school management systems available, it is natural for people to ask what the rationale is for developing another one from scratch. To our knowledge there is no South African Open Source school management system. Also, according to a study initiated by TSF in 2002, existing Open Source systems are either at very early stages of development, or would require substantial modification to adapt them to our needs. The study concluded that an Open Source school management system for South Africa remains a need and a priority.

The key that will differentiate OSMIS from other initiatives is a combination of:

  1. Platform independence: OSMIS will be composed entirely of OSS components that will run on all popular computing platforms.
  2. Free licensing: OSMIS will be released under an Open Source license (specifically GPL) as we believe that it is critical for schools to have free access to the software. Hopefully, this will enable the solution to be deployed at an overall lower cost than any other solution. The Open Source license also empowers the users of the software to make changes to the software and / or contract out their customisation and modification requirements without reliance on the original developers.
  3. Open Source development: A focus of this project is to instill a sense of ownership and pride amongst its users. We will endeavour to build a community of users and contributors consisting of school staff and/or learners, SMMEs, educational organisations and any other interested groups and individuals. Ultimately, we would like to see the Open Source nature of the project expand and adapt it for use in other countries.

The OSMIS Consortium

The OSMIS consortium consists of:

Other organisations -- in particular NetDay and TSF -- have contributed significantly to this project thus far, and it is likely that they will play important supporting roles throughout the duration of the project.


The OSMIS project is currently being funded by Imfundo of the UK Government's Department for International Development.