Helping schools and daycares get through Corona with a free tool

Cu.be published a free tool to help schools and daycares get through the difficult Corona times by easing their administrative burden when they have to partially or completely close due to Corona infections. We’ll share the URL before explaining what it’s all about below : https://school.cu.be

With Corona wave number 4 arriving throughout the world in November – December 2021, the impact on Belgian schools and daycares was again high. Schools and daycares were forced to close down (completely or partially) as soon as a certain number of infections per classroom was exceeded.

This meant parents sometimes had to find a solution after being alerted at 8:00 in the morning.

Luckily the government had a solution in place, allowing parents to request Corona leave through the RVA/ONEM/LFA. However this meant that parents needed a filled out document from the school or daycare. Not a big problem if only a few parents request the document, but given the amount of data that has to be filled out, it can quickly become a major problem if an entire school is closed. The red circles below indicate which sections need to be filled out, including a the kid’s name and national number and a signature and stamp of the school/daycare :

schooltool
schooltool 2

 

After receiving such a manually filled out form from our team members, we decided to help schools/daycares and built a free tool. The not-so-cleverly-named School Tool allows you to fill out the details once, add all the kids names and national numbers, then produce a ZIP file containing 1 PDF document per kid.

Privacy is important, so we don't process data

Because we’re dealing with names and national numbers of citizens and handling that data requires special authorization, we decided not to process any of the data on server level.

Technically this is a challenge, since it means we have to do everything in the web browser. This includes generating a PDF document (not just with different styles of text and checkboxes, but images for the signature and stamp). And since the document can be generated for hundreds of kids simultaneously, it also means generating hundreds of PDFs and putting them in a ZIP file, all within a web browser.

From a technical perspective, we accomplished this using pdfmake and JSZip along with a lot of asynchronous background processing.

The tool was tested with up to 4000 kids and although it takes a bit of time to generate the documents and the file is not exactly small, it handles it quite smoothly.

Our little contribution to surviving Corona

For us, this is a small contribution that might help a number of schools and daycares in times where they’ve been troubled a lot by extra administrative overload and staff falling ill.

We’re happy to do our part in supporting our fellow citizens. Teachers are great at teaching our kids, we do what we’re best at. Together we’ll get through this !

Oh right… if you know of any other documents that we can automate to help get rid of manual work, let us know ! We love automating things !

Where's the tool ?

Wim Godden

Wim Godden

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