Parents and their children now have an easier method for applying to schools via the Direct School Admission for Secondary Schools (DSA-Sec) exercise.
MOE’s GovTech team have created a one-stop e-portal for the submission of DSA-Sec applications. Both applicants and schools, which face having to run through several applications, are benefited from this.
Housed under the Ministry of Education’s Information Technology Division (MOE ITD), Govtech’s applications consultants Ryan Zhuang and Agnes Ong created this portal together.
Initial DSA-Sec application process
The procedure for a DSA-Sec application was typically time-consuming and with several steps to be taken. Applicants would have to submit separate applicants to each school.
Copies of academic results, certificates, transcripts and testimonials would have to be made for each school being applied to.
Schools also face tediousness in having to manually run through various applications.
Factors of consideration for creating the portal
The end-user experience was kept in mind when developing the portal. These users include future applicants via the portal, applicants who have gone through the current application process, school staff handling the applications, and MOE Headquarter staff who provide back-end support for the application process.
Through understanding the challenges that each group of users could potentially face; the team designed the portal to cater to each of their needs.
The decision to create a portal rather an app was due to the reason that the DSA-Sec application is a one-time process and it will be a hindrance for having to download an app just for it.
A portal, on the other hand, can be easily accessed at any time, from either a desktop, tab, laptop or phone.
Features of portal
Agile methodology is one of the cores of this portal. The use of this method allows for faster procurement operations and thus allowing for the launch of the platform at a much faster rate.
Services such as SingPass and MyInfo have been incorporated into the portal to allow easier login processes.
MyInfo has allowed for forms to come pre-filled, allowing for much faster application processes.
MOE systems have also been included in the portal which allows for the necessary certificates, transcripts, and documents to be automatically sent between primary and secondary schools.
The portal also comes with information on the application process. The pre-login page of the portal will display key information on the process. It will also come with a step-by-step guide on how applicants should apply.
Applicants can apply to multiple schools with just one form. The process is free-of-charge.
These applications will also be consistently updated onto the portal in real-time.
Looking ahead, the team will be finding ways to improve the functions of the portal and upgrade it before next year’s DSA-Sec application process.