1.1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
It is safe to say that most activities such as hostel allocation carried out in most universities in Nigeria are done manually. Therefore, there is a lot of strain on the individuals running the hostels. An E-Hostel system is simply software developed for managing most activities that take place in the hostels with the help of a hostel administrator.
The goal of this research work is to provide a solution to the problem of hostel management, by designing a computerized system which is user-friendly and GUI-oriented that will be compatible with the existing manual systems. The software to be developed will solve the problem of hostel management; thus helping to reduce problems associated with the manual hostel management system. The project uses University of Calabar as Case Study.
This chapter introduces the study and provides relevant information on the background of the study. It begins with problem definition (statement of the problem) which describes the major problems associated with manual hostel management. This is followed by the research objective putting in a nutshell what is to be achieved by the study. Subsequently, the Research Justification is presented, which justifies the essence of the research. The Research Methodology describes the procedures used in conducting the research. Scope and Limitation discusses the area the research is limited to and also highlights the constraints encountered during the course of this work. Finally, there is definition of terms and chapter layout which defines peculiar terms related to the study alone and summarizes the entire chapters respectively.
1.3.0 PROBLEM DEFINITION
Problems associated with hostel records when manually handled by hostel staffs in University of Calabar include:
· Records are manually written and stored in various registers.
· Lots of human errors are encountered when records are hand-written.
· The use of numerous registers for hostel allocation can be very cumbersome, hence tracing records become tedious.
· Difficulty in maintaining or updating the records, hence, retrieval of a certain dataset from a bunch of registers is almost impossible.
· Loss or damage of any of the registers leads to damage of lots of important files at a time.
· Lack of data security.
1.4.0 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The objective of this study is to develop an application that will ease the stress associated with the existing manual system as earlier stated, while focusing on the the of University of Calabar.
This study aims to achieve the following;
i. To create a database management system (DBMS) which allocates storage to student data and also provides security for the stored data.
ii. To provide quick and efficient means for gathering the student information along with their rooms, fees, etc.
iii. To find out the possible benefits that will be obtained from the new system.
iv. At the completion of this work, this system will improve the management of student hostels in the University of Calabar.
1.5.0 RESEARCH JUSTIFICATION
The proposed research can be justified by providing answers to the questions below:
i. Does the research extend the understanding of the phenomenon being investigated?
ii. Does it elaborate, extend or fill in gaps in present knowledge?
iii. Finally, will it give the expected results result?
After putting these aforementioned questions into consideration, I believe that this research is worth doing. Using UNICAL as the existing system to be investigated, in which the mode of operation is done manually, a certain level of bias will be experienced. The new system to be developed is to manage the allocation process.
1.6.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In order to realize the objectives of this research, it is important to apply the appropriate strategy in achieving the set goals. The methodology employed in the course of this study is to first outline the set of requirements to be met by the proposed system, where information related to the research work will be derived from the area of study (University of Calabar Hostels and Student Affairs); then envisage and implement the design of the system, using HTML and PHP for the design and MySQL for building the database.
1.7.0 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
In terms of geographical coverage, student hotels in University of Calabar, Calabar, was studied.
This study suggests means of gathering information about students and ways of easily managing the hostel details, room details, student records, easy way of room allocation and hostel attendance. Subsequently, software will be written in the implementation phase which will enable the program to run.
In addition to this, a number of things occurred which slowed down the process in the research work. They include:
i. Time constraint for proper analysis, design and implementation of the E-Hostel system.
ii. Poor internet facilities and inaccessible websites.
iii. Limited access to administrative information.
1.8.0 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Database Management System (DBMS): is software that enables you store, modify, and extract information on a database.
E-Hostel (Electronic Hostel): is a computerized system for managing various activities in the hostel.
MySQL:MYSQL is a relational database management system written in C and C++ that runs as a server providing multi user access to a number of databases.
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages.
Unified Modeling Language (UML): It is used to specify, visualize, modify, construct, and document the artifacts of an object-oriented software-intensive system under development.
1.9.0 CHAPTER LAYOUT
This study is presented in five chapters.
Chapter One: deals with the introduction, which provides preamble or background to the study. It also introduces the study and provides relevant information on the background to the study, problem definition, objectives of study, justification and methodology of the research, definition of terms and chapter layout.
Chapter two: is a review of literature relevant to the research topic; introduction to the chapter, overview of hostel and brief history of hostel will be discussed. Also to be discussed are the type of hostels and a quick look on several literature on this work before ending with my proposed contribution.
Chapter three: presents system methodology which analyzes the current system, indicating the shortcomings and finding possible solutions by designing and developing a new system. System requirements and specifications are also discussed.
Chapter four: focuses on system implementation which aims at ensuring that the system works accurately and efficiently and also tested for possible errors before making it available to the users.
Chapter five: provides a summary of the findings, drawing conclusions based on the findings as well as the relevant recommendations