Purpose: Personnel Retirement Exit Report
Effective Date: May 22, 2021
Submitted By: Edwel Ongrung, Administrative Services Manager
Submitted To: Director, Bureau of Education Administration
Submitted Date: July 25, 2021
I was Administrative Services Manager from 2003 to May 22, 2021, under the Director of Education/Education Administration. The responsibility of this position was to manage the support servvices of the bureau by developing and implementing systems and process oriented solutions to issues identified by the Director.
I also continued to perform the duties of the Computer Systems Manager position which I held prior to 2003. Because of my increased workload, we brought in two lab managers from the schools to join the computer operator (staff of 3) to handle the day to day computer maintenance tasks. This group eventually became the Information Technology unit.
During my tenure, we established the MOE's network infrastructure, back end servers, and developed various tools to help with administrative and support services. While these tools are informal in the sense that there is no policy to establish or regulate them, some are in everyday use by MOE staff.
The rest of this report briefly describes the background and then details the various systems, services, and tools and their status.
The Administrative Services Manager position was created in 2002 as part of the Director of Education's efforts to improve the management and coordination of various functions at the central office that are supportive in nature, not core business but yet still critical to the bureau's and and ministry's purpose. I was hired into the position shortly thereafter, bringing along my previous responsibilities as computers systems manager to add to the position's responsibilities.
Since then MOE management clarified the support services into finance, computers (IT), facilities, material production, transportation (includes student busing), and food services. These were established as units with a mid level managerial position and core staff. The earlier work here was to establish unit purpose, procedures and processes, and unit metrics.
In recent years, the management and administrative work has focused on establishing operational metrics for the ministry, getting a handle on requisitioning and distribution of resources, establishing a means for evaluating the progress of the BEA and the master plan, reducing teacher workloads, and increasing the value for teachers and schools of central office's data gathering and reporting.
In a lot of cases, the efforts involved leveraging technology.
The Administrative Services Manager has become obsolete as the MOE has added three administrative officers to the organization. In fact, after AO's and a budget specialist were hired, we tried to revert my position to Computer Services Manager, but were informed by BPSS that the Administrative Services Manager position will be eliminated and the existing Administrative Officer positions would replace it. Towards the end of my term, I was mostly focused on specific system level initiatives of the Director of BEA and on development of technology initiatives, systems, and tools.
IT services was formed out of my former position as computer systems manager. Upon assuming the Administrative Services Manager position in 2003, we brought in two lab managers from the schools to take over the maintenance of the MOE's technology assets. They remained under my supervision, hence the unit does not have a manager. This unit functions as intended to this day.
Requires Immediate Attention
These are systems or tools that will be or are in danger of being disrupted. The first two have some hard deadlines. For example, first mid-quarter report is due about mid-september.
A tech can be hired as needed to perform just the maintenance task necessary. If we allot 8 hours (at the very minimum) per service, and targeting mid and end quarter reports, that would be 8 hrs x $45 x 8 reports = $2,880 per project per year.
Below I'm recommending going the automation route. Using a very ball park estimate, we could say each project is equivalent to 1 term by 1 TCinGC student-consultant, or about $2,500 per project ($5,000 if the student comes to Palau). This is a one time cost.
|PHS SIS||Requires "manual" work to register students, and for each mid and end of quarter, to transfer data from the teacher gradebook system to the SIS.||Build a new registration module for PHS SIS, and add automation to handle data transfers from teacher gradebooks to PHS SIS.|
|Meyuns Gradebook Pilot||If it is to continue, requires "manual" work to generate mid quarter reports, quarterly report cards, and end of year student annual record and transcripts from the teachers' gradebooks.||Because this was a pilot, I did everything manually. The next step is to build the system backend to handle these tasks.|
|Elem SIS||The system is obsolete and overwhelmed by current DRE needs. In a 2020 project, a replacement was built. The Meyuns Gradebook Pilot was envisioned to be the main data source for this system.||A lot of work needs to be done on the data in the old SIS to bring it to this new one. Then the backend for the Meyuns gradebook pilot needs to be connected as a data source to this new SIS.|
Technology Systems Configurations and Tasks
|PHS SIS||Student Registration||Set up databases and issue database commands to move existing students up one grade level||1st week of Aug, 1st week of Jan||Need someone to do it. Requires database administration skills and programming or intermediate level Microsoft Excel skills.|
|PHS SIS||Mid and End Qtr Report Cards||Move student quarterly grades from the teacher gradebook entry system to the SIS||Mid and End of each quarter||Need someone to do it. Requires database administration skills and programming or intermediate level Microsoft Excel skills.|
|Meyuns Electronic Gradebook Pilot||Mid quarter reports, Quarterly Report Cards||generate mid quarter reports, report cards, and annual student record and transcripts from teachers' electronic gradeboks||Mid and End of each quarter||Need someone to do it. Requires database administration and programming skills and a deep understanding of MOE processes.|
|MOE Databases||Maintenance, feature requests, data corrections and extraction, backup||This is the underlying database that supports the MOE's apps and requires someone to run and manage it on an ongoing basis||-||Need someone to do it. Requires databases administration and web development skills.|
|MOE Staffing Plan Chart||Updating to match MOE Management Directives, hiring and staffing plans.||This is a chart that is supposed to show what positions are needed and where in the system they reside.||-||Need someone to do it. Creating the chart is a clerical level task, but it depends upon someone at least at personnel specialist level to develop the content of the chart.|
|Elem SIS||General Maintenance||This is an old and cumbersome system that requires ongoing maintenance||-||Could be safely ignored until something breaks then hire someone to fix|
|DRE Features of Elem SIS||Feature requests, database and extraction||This is an old and cumbersome system that requires ongoing maintenance and feature additions||-||Could be safely ignored until something needs to be done then hire someone to fix|
|DRE Personnel Action App||Maintenance, feature requests, data corrections and extraction||This is an old and cumbersome system that requires ongoing maintenance and feature additions||-||Could be safely ignored until something needs to be done then hire someone to fix|
|Network Infrastructure||Network Devices Configurations||Configuration and backup of network devices such as routers, firewalls, DHCP, DNS, Email, Web, etc.||-||Could be ignored until something needs to be done then hire someone to fix though it is recommended that at least basic monitoring be performed so that services are not disrupted. MOE is exploring outsourcing of this.|
A lot of these tools were developed in an ad-hoc manner. Since we did not have any development funds, we didn't hire developers or go for commercial systems. Rather, as needs came up, we hurriedly set up something to address the need, and kept adding on as needs arose.
At some point, time needs to be dedicated to integrating the tools. As it was, very little time was available, but now MOE is starting to utilize these tools more and may consider undertaking or commissioning tool development work.
|MOE Web Site||2000 by Masa-Aki N. Emesiochl||The purpose from the beginning was to publicize MOE information.||In current use as originally intended. The other builds in 2007, 2011, 2018, and 2020 were due to lack of people to manage content, security breaches and take downs, and need to move to replacement technology.||I did the development, maintenance, and content in the current version. Needs to be picked up by MOE.|
|Facilities Inventory||2002 by Billy Kuartei||Inventory MOE facilities assets and enter into electronic records.||Kailang Asanuma conducted the inventory and a consultant inputed the data into electronic records. I converted the data and input into a relational database in 2005 and it is still available today. I was the primary user of the data.||The records have not been updated. Could be updated and then used as the foundation for a facilities management app.|
|Job Orders||Off and On since 2006||To support the MOE's attempt to move to a work-request/job-order based maintenance system||This is a very basic data entry tool. There has been a lack of clarity on who is responsible for data entry and ensuring that requests are routed to a single point where data can be captured.||Perhaps this could be transformed into a logging system or it should be tabled until the job-order process is more formalized.|
|DPM App||2008 by Edwel Ongrung||To assist DPM staff with processing personnel actions.||In current use as originally intended. Has additional features that are used by DPM. System requires a lot of maintenance due to its ad-hoc development and it is showing its age.||It should be replaced with a fully web based system that meets the increased demand of users.|
|PHS SIS||2007 by Emery Wenty||Improve the timelinesss of Report Cards and Transcripts by digitizing the process.||In current use as originally intended. Has additional features that are used by PHS. In 2014, a teacher gradebook app started to be used as a data source to the PHS SIS||It should be replaced with a fully web based system that meets the increased demand of users.|
|Elem SIS||2009 by Raynold Mechol||Improve the timelinesss and accuracy of student data collection by the DRE.||In current use as originally intended. Features have been added to address the DRE's needs. But the system is ad-hoc in nature and showing its age.||It should be replaced with a fully web based system that meets the increased demand of users.|
|Timeclock App||2010 by Emery Wenty||Replace the timesheet to better reflect actual times in and out; allow review and analysis. Not intended to be official - supervisor must write in changes and sign.||In current use as originally intended. Employees at SpEd and Central Office directly time in and out. A report is built in to the website for staff to print timesheets. A. Tabelual at had asked about "real" timeclock capabilities, but did not order a move to that level of functionality.||It could work as is but be improved internally (better code, etc); It could be modified into a "real" timeclock; A timeclock app can be acquired and installed to replace it.|
|PHS Teacher Gradebook||2014 by the CACG Program||Initiate data entry for the planned PHS Student Counseling System||Counseling system was tabled pending clarification of PHS counseling workflow and disciplinary action matrix. The app is in current use as a data entry tool to support the PHS SIS||A tie in to PHS SIS should be developed. Right now it requires manual work to move data between the two apps.|
|SpEd Website||2015 by H. Sengebau||To publicize SpEd grant application for public comments as required by the grant.||Was in use from 2015 to 2020. In 2020 I incorporated the SpEd announcements into the MOE Website. The site is still up for the older content, but new content is on the MOE Website.||Needs someone to publish SpEd's files on the website. Usually happens from March to May every year. Maybe develop the SpEd section of the MOE website so employees can upload the files.|
|EMIS Web App||2017 by E. Ongrung||Used as a proof of concept vehicle to try out ideas related to A. Tabelual's effort to set up an EMIS.||Some functionality from Elem SIS were moved here and certain reporting features for DRE were added. They are in current use by DRE.||The SIS related pieces should be addressed in Elem/PHS SIS. It could be used as a starting point for EMIS work.|
|BEA Metrics||2017 by Andrew Tabelual||To collect BEA metrics so that operations can be evaluated.||The fuel consumption component of this tool was in use, first by Laurie Maderkewet, than by Denicia Mariur. It was used mostly to track balances for open PO's but the data is there for looking at fuel consumption patterns.||Perhaps the fuel consumption module could be separated out into a single tool and put into formal use at the MOE.|
|Requisitioning App||2018 by Andrew Tabelual||To collect requisitioning, receiving, distribution, and inventory data so that resource allocation and consumption can be tracked.||Trialed in FY2018, was in full use FY2019 until March when MOF changes its accounting system. Currently not in use because the accounts and the requisition form do not match the MOF's.||The requisition form and the chart of accounts needs to be fixed to match MOF's in order to put it back in use.|
|New SIS||2020 by Andrew Tabelual||To replace the Elem SIS and be able to replace the PHS SIS.||It was tested with Meyuns and is currently idle pending completion of the data pipeline that will feed data to it.||Completion of the data pipeline (separate project - see Meyuns Gradebook Pilot) on hooking up to this SIS. Importing, cleaning, and transformation of data from old Elem SIS. Testing and deployment to other schools.|
|Data Analysis Stack||2020 by Andrew Tabelual||To develop and demonstrate an efficient and effective system for generating DRE reports.||A system was built using Apache SuperSet and the data pipeline to reporting process was researched, documented, and delivered in training to DRE.||The tool is available if DRE wishes to try it out.|
|Meyuns Gradebook Pilot||2020 by Andrew Tabelual||To digitize school records, decrease teacher workload, and set up a data pipeline for the new SIS.||A system was piloted that used existing teachers' laptops and bundled software (no other software necessary) for teachers to convert their paper gradebooks to digital. I manually generated the reports from the electronic gradebooks at the mid and end quarters. For school year 2021, all mid quarter, report card, and student annual records and transcripts were digital.||Now that the pilot has shown that digitizing this process is feasible, the next step is to build the backend for the system and to hook it up to the new SIS.|
Initiatives, Recent Years
|DRE Evaluation Capacity Improvement.
|CACG needed formal evaluation of college and work readiness indicators; BEA tried to establish formal evaluation of MOE 10 year Master Plan||Worked on the DRE Unit Profile (Standard Operating Procedures), clarifying roles and job descriptions, and improving tools and processes.||The work was submitted to the DRE Chief. The chief had expressed interest in moving forward.||If it had been accepted, the next steps would have been to work on staff job descriptions, then establish the SOP formally.|
|Master Plan Progress Evaluation.
|The MOE's 10 Yr Master Plan lacks an evaluation section.||Initiate a way for MOE to evaluate the master plan. The decision was to start with evaluations of the Management Action Plans which were seen as the implementation plans of the master plan. Eleanor Titiml was hired to develop a prototype evaluation which the DRE could use as a guide for future evaluations.||The prototype evaluation of MAP 2018 was completed and submitted to the MOE and to DRE.||It was meant as a prototype so it will be up to DRE.|
|MOE Institutional Documentation.
2018 going forward
|The MOE does not have a formal function that keeps and validates its institutional documentation||Establish a dedicated institutional records position that actually ensures that correct versions of MOE's institutional documents are preserved and available.||Leo Ruluked Jr was placed in this position and works indepedently under the direct oversight of the Director of Education Administration.||Further work may be required to get things going.|
2017 going forward
|The MOE increasingly relies on database foundations for data driven decision making but there was no official effort to run and maintain databases||Establish a dedicated inventory management position that actually ensures the compliance with inventory procedures (from the procurement regulations).||Adeline Ngirakesau was placed in this position and works indepedently under the direct oversight of the Director of Education Administration.||Looks like this function is performing well.|
|The MOE increasingly relies on database foundations for data driven decision making but there was no official effort to run and maintain databases||Establish a dedicated database manager position that actually concentrates on MOE databases.||Rilla Ngirmidol was put in the position. The chief of DRE agreed to dedicate her to databases.||It is unclear if this position can be dedicated to the task. Relocated to a more conducive location in the org chart was considered. Perhaps that would have been better.|
|MOE Network Infrastructure.
1998 going forward
|The MOE currently does not have trained techs to work on this.||The system started as a POTS dial-in for email, then moved to ISDN, and the latest iteration is each campus is directly connected to the internet while intra-campus is serviced with Wifi.||The MOE is looking at outsourcing which is more and more a viable option here in Palau especially with PNCC now offering the service.||The nature of networks now means they can be remotely managed by any competent person or company, so MOE has options.|
1994 going forward
|The MOE currently does not have trained techs to work on this.||The system started as one Microsoft NT Server for tracking financial transactions, and has expanded to now where the backend servers handle network services, email, websites, databases, file sharing, wifi equipment management, and various online apps.||The MOE is moving towards a hybrid cloud/local setup which can reduce the need for hardware maintenance, configuration, and administration. It also allows MOE more options such as outsourcing the management and administrative tasks.||The nature of technology now means servers can be built and managed on cloud infrastructure by any competent person or company, so MOE has options.|
|School Records Digitization.
2019 going forward
|There is a need for easier access to records and for more effective storage and safekeeping||School records will be scanned and organized digitally. At some point a digital storage system can be built but the first focus is to get stuff scanned. The BEA started buying scanners and assigned IT Staff and Leo Ruluked start scanning and training school staff to do their own scanning.||In 2014, Floria Kambalang happened to digitize JFK records as a personal project right before Haiyan hit Kayangel. In 2019-2020, as a pilot, Leo scanned in Aimeliik and Meyuns. In 2020, systems were put in place in Meyuns, Airai, and Koror and staff were trained.||Work got stalled here and there and needs to be restarted.|
|Teacher workload reduction and increased value of data reports for schools.
|There is a need for increasing the value of MOE's data for teachers and schools, and to reduce the non-instructional workload of school staff||This was such a broad initiative that the actual work was focused on particular tools. These are described in the tools section - EMIS Web App, New SIS, Meyuns Gradebook Pilot, and Data Analysis Stack.||The status is described in the individual tools description in the tools section. This information is placed here just to document the driver for building those tools.||Please see appropriate item in the tools section.|
Server Room Systems
|Hardware and OS||Service||Purpose||Status||Next Steps|
|Macmini 2012 and MacOS X 10.9||2012 to present||Database Server||In Use||Retire. Move databases to a better server with dual mirrored disks and an automated backup process.|
|Macmini 2012 and MacOS X 10.9||2015 to present||Unifi Controller||In Use||Retire. Controller will be moved to cloud or to another server.|
|Dell PowerEdge 110 II and Linux 7.2||2016 to present||Virtual Machine Server||In Use||Retire. Services will be moved to cloud or to another server.|
|Dell PowerEdge 110 II and Linux 7.2||2016 to present||Container based Server||In Use||Retire. Services will be moved to cloud or to another server.|
|HP Proliant Micro Server 2010 and Linux 6.9||2013 to present||Web Server||In Use||Retire. Web services will be moved to cloud or to another server.|
|HP Proliant Micro Server 2010 and Linux 6.9||2018 to present||Mail Server||In Use||Keep. There will be expenses for moving to the cloud so it will need further consideration.|
|HP Proliant Micro Server 2010 and Linux 6.9||2018 to present||Backup Database Server||In Use||Keep. Move the current databases to here; This is a more robust server.|
|HP Proliant Micro Server 2010 and Linux 6.9||2018 to present||Backup Mail Server||In Use||Keep. Build up into a cluster with the existing mail server for more robust handling of mail.|
|Mikrotik RB750 2013 and RouterOS 6.4||2019 to present||DNS server||In Use||Keep|
|Mikrotik RB2011 2013 and RouterOS 6.4||2019 to present||Firewall, Router, and DHCP||In Use||Keep|
|Ubiquiti Unifi 250 Switch with Unifi OS||2019 to present||Main Switch||In Use||Keep|
|HP Procurve Switch||2019 to present||Supplemental switch to the Main Switch||In Use||Keep|
|Drobo Fileshare 2010||2012 to present||Fileshare for the central office, serves various content over the web to other MOE campuses||In Use||Keep. But it is time to think of upgrading due to increased traffic to the resources and the age of the equipment|