Importance of EducationThe importance of education has been recognized by almost all of the countries in the world during last few decades. According to various surveys conducted, almost all of the developed countries have higher level of education compared to the level of education in developing countries and under-developed countries. Further, literature supports that, the difference in the economy, standard of living, health care, and every other area can be linked with education. Education allows to realize issues, think about others, builds up an understanding of social responsibility, truthfulness, no harm to others and not to adopt immoral means. Further education provides flat form to create a healthy competition among individuals, groups, departments, organizations and countries. The levels of education have linked with the prosperity and poverty, technological advances, military power, trade and business. Education supports competency building, enhancing self-confidence and encourages virtues such as respect to each other. In nutshell, Education contributes not only in character building but also in nation building. Hence countries all over the world have realized the importance of education, they have assigned priority to various education programs. The constitution of many of the countries lay down education as a fundamental right of the citizens. Moreover, federal governments, state governments, local bodies, and non-governmental organizations have focused their attention to this important sector. Further, it has been recognized that to improve the health of the country whether economic health or health of any other area, it is the education of female population which can change the face of the society and the country. Therefore, education has become the fore front activity everywhere in the world. It is very important to know the status of education in the country and make plans for further improvements. This calls for an education management information system or education management system. Importance of InformationMoreover, the performance of an organization to achieve its goals and objectives largely depends upon the resources available to it both from inside the organization or from outside. Various resources are required to perform tasks of any organization, which includes manpower, materials, finance, facilities and information. Information is one of the most important resources of the organization that have an impact on all the other resources. Availability of resources makes all the difference to an organization to compete in the market and excel. The growth and future of any organization whether a manufacturing unit, trading organization, business organization, service provider, government department or an educational institute depends on its resources and more so on their effective utilization. It is not enough to only arrange resources but their timely acquisition, utilization and monitoring is absolutely essential for the success of the organization. The management functions like planning, organizing, executing, monitoring, control and evaluation can be performed with the information.Furthermore, globalization and deregulation of economy worldwide has made the service industry highly competitive. Now transaction based approach has evolved further in terms of relationship and solution mindset. Since, service industry has matured; each and every organization needs to upgrade their processes to remain competitive. Education sector is no longer an exception to it. This makes school management to be identified as a crucial area from service delivery perspective and further, people have started realizing the importance of process automation or ICT based information and process management in schools.Background of the studyICT based Information Management SystemSimply, ICT based information management system or school management software is an IT application that is used to empower schools in managing their activities. Further, it is a complete suite of applications that permits school administrators to automate all aspects of school or college management, including student information system, student-grading software and student billing software or student attendance software. It permits school administrators to capture, manipulate and present student data in a meaningful manner, generating reports and statistics dynamically. High school education software is an attempt to incorporate IT in operations and management of school that results in greater efficiency and effectiveness.Therefore, computer can be identified as the potential equipment which makes a significant contribution to the teaching, learning, and administration in schools. In Sri Lankan context, the huge investment for introducing information and communication technology (ICT) into schools including hardware, software, networking, and staff development can be considered as worthwhile hence there are many evidences which prove that ICT has made an adequate impact on school performance and effectiveness (Shah, 2013).Advantages of ICT based Information Management SystemThe utilization of information communication technology in school administration has rapidly increased due to its characteristics such as high efficiency and effectiveness. The school administrators who usually spend longer duration of time in solving complex allocation problems such as staff allocation, resource allocation, timetabling and monitoring the school operations can perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively due to enhanced technology. Further the enhanced information technologies facilitate school administrators to decentralize their work tasks and have proper coordination among them through an interactive communication network in real time. On the other hand, these information technologies allow for greater flexibility and networking which emphasizes grater interdependency, interaction, and constant adaptation to an ever-changing environment (Castells, 2001).ICT based information management systems are used by schools to support a range of administrative activities including attendance monitoring, assessment records, reporting, financial management, and resource and staff allocation and etc. Moreover any information management system provides managers with the information which required managing any organization efficiently and effectively as expected. (O’Brien J. , 1999).Being at the beginning stage of the School Management Information Systems, computerization of the school management is the basic subject of today’s school management. Principals have started to make use of information systems in the gradually-increasing daily management staffs (May, 2003). Generally speaking, the reasons to use information systems can be stated as increasing effectiveness at work by processing information, increasing managerial effectiveness by meeting the need for information and gaining superiority in competitions by directing strategies (Yuen, Law, & Wong, 2003). School management information systems aim to provide support for the managing and educational activities of the school managers by processing information. School management information systems can be defined as “a management information system designed to match the structure, management task, instructional processes and special needs of the school” (Telem, 1999). As for a broad definition, contributions of the information systems to schools can be defined as making programs more effective, making the teaching process and the changes in learning environment professional, enabling teachers to exchange their experiences in a more systematic way, working in teams, determining the needs of the students , supporting the school managers and other staff in doing their duties, developing their performances, effectiveness and efficiencies (Telem, 1999). In other words, school management information systems increase effectiveness and efficiency by saving time and facilitating development of alternative solutions for sophisticated problems (May, 2003).Throughout this study, it is expected to investigate the extent of utilization, the perception of school administrators and the barrier to implement the ICT based information management in public schools in Sri Lanka. On other words, the overall theme of this study is to analyse the effects of ICT based information management in public schools which is a quite complex object to investigate due to several factors influencing it such as it is closely connected to society, the political background and decision making, and it is deeply dependent on the previous history of ‘school’ and the values and norms of education. Conceptual FrameworkThe use of data in school administration currently has multiple measures and it acts as an eye opener to administrators in demographics, school processes, student learning, as well as perceptions and projections.Further, based on the above described background analysis the following theoretical model can be developed which summarizes the key areas of ICT use as a diffusion of innovation in administrative areas, namely: student administration, personnel administration, financial administration, general administration and supervision of instruction. Based on this conceptual framework, the rest of this study is expected to be conducted.Source: Prepared by AuthorProblem StatementWith referring to above facts, it is clear that every school should manage their resources effectively and efficiently to be successful in the education sector. Information plays a vital role in the journey of success of schools. When considering the current trend. In order to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of school the administrators should manage their resources, basically the information based on ICT programs which is identified as ICT based information management system or management information system. But the extent of usage of ICT based information management system is vastly depends on the perception of relevant school administrators and the barriers occurred to implement.Based on the above point of view the research problem can be identified as,”An analysis on the extent of usage and the perception of education administrators towards ICT based information management in public school administration”.Objectives of the researchAccording to literature it is clear that ICT based information management system ensure efficiency and effectiveness of school management. But it is important to highlight that the extent of usage of ICT based information management heavily depends on the perception of education administrators towards ICT based information management system and the barriers to implement ICT based information management system in schools. Based on this view the objective of this proposed research can be aligned as follows.? To identify the extent of usage of ICT based information management in public schools in Sri Lanka? To identify the perception of education administrators on using ICT based information management in public schools in Sri Lanka? To identify the barriers/ problems on implementing ICT based information management in public schools in Sri LankaMethodologyAs the purpose of this research is to identify the usage of ICT based information management system in public schools in Sri Lanka, this can be identified as an exploratory research. This research is conducted based on survey strategy. The primary data consisting with both quantitative and qualitative data is collected by using standard questionnaire and semi structured interviews. The cross sectional data collected through primary sources are analyzed by applying both descriptive and analytical methods.Significance of the studyThis research is conducted at school level with a view of identifying the extent of usage of ICT based information management system in public school in Sri Lanka. Further, there is practical as well as theoretical significance in the findings of this study.Through this study, it is expected to identify the perception of school administrators on ICT based information management system, to understand the problems and obstacles faced by school administrators while implementing the ICT based information management system and to identify the extent of usage of ICT based information management in public schools in Sri Lanka.Further, this study may give contribution to the formulation of appropriate policies for improve the extent of usage of ICT based information management systems in schools while preventing, reducing and controlling barriers and problems arise while implementing the ICT based information management systems. And also the findings of this study will help the relevant authorities to focus on the perception of school administrators and their knowledge on ICT based information management systems before introducing new information management systems. Moreover, it is expected that the findings of this study will assist in further studies on this problem area since only little relevant and comprehensive information are available on the ICT based information management system in public schools in Sri Lanka.Limitation of the researchWhen conducting this research the scope is restricted due to some recognized limitations. Those limitations can be pointed out as follows:• Time constraint – Hence there is a given time period to conduct the research the sample is limited mainly to the selected schools in Seethawaka Education Division.• Cost constraint – Hence composition of sample is far away from each other the cost incurred is become a constraint for this research. • Participant’s reluctant to provide information – hence majority of participant have not enough knowledge on ICT based information management system they were reluctant to provide required information.CapitalizationAs mentioned in the above section this study is carried out to study the extent of usage of ICT based information management systems in public schools in Sri Lanka. This study consists with five major chapters which are described below in summary format.The first chapter gives a basic introduction to this study. In this chapter topics like definition of ICT based information management, Importance of education, Importance of information for organizations, advantages of ICT based information management systems, background of the study, conceptual framework, the research problem, significance of the study and finally the objectives of this research are discussed in detail.The second chapter includes the literature review. In this chapter the literatures regarding advantages and problems/ barriers to implement ICT based information management sytems are reviewed as a basis for this study. Further, some important methodologies used by different scholars are also reviewed in this chapter.The chapter three elaborates the methodology used to conduct this study by highlighting main factors such as sample selection method, data collection method and the data analysis method applied for this research. The chapter four compromise with the data analysis. In this chapter the collected data through primary sources are analyzed using various methods and tools likes charts, graphs, tables and etc.The final chapter, chapter-five describes the findings of the study. In this chapter, it deeply discusses the important findings and conclusions and made recommendations depending on the analyzed data.