Minister Debbie Schäfer launches School Admissions Management Information (SAMI) database

Minister Debbie Schäfer, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Education

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is pleased to announce that it is has developed a new online system that simplifies management of learner enrollment.

The system makes it much easier for schools to capture applications for places and to share this information with other schools and officials.

The WCED developed the system in collaboration with the Centre for e-Innovation (CEI) in the Department of the Premier.

Work started on the School Admissions Management Information (SAMI) system last year.

Schools started using the system on 8 August to manage enrollments of learners for 2015.

Challenges in the past have included out-of-date information on learner placement, tracking information on areas most under pressure, and the need to crosscheck multiple waiting lists.

Some schools often accepted the same learners, which blocked places where vacancies were available. Officials had to contact schools directly to track down available places.

Keeping multiple lists up to date was a complex, time-consuming process.

The new system has simplified the whole process considerably. Schools can now use the system to capture applications on a centralised database.

Officials can use the database to generate an online list of learners looking for places.

They can also use the system to generate lists of learners accepted at more than one school. Those parents whose child has been accepted at multiple schools will have until 26th September 2014 to decide which school they choose to send their child to.

The department has also asked schools to indicate their expected number of vacancies. This data will help to identify available places.

The system will show the number of available places at a school, and the number of applications per grade at school, circuit and district level.

District officials will be able to use the lists to help places match learners to available places.

Schools will not have to re-enter learner details for 2015 if they have already captured them in SAMI, or if another school has already entered these details.

The system will use the learner’s identity number or a number generated by the system to avoid duplicate names in the database.

Officials will be able to use the system to generate lists of learners looking for places in any area, and across the whole province.

They will be able to see if a learner has been accepted at any schools, and whether parents have applied at more than one school, and when they applied.

The system will automatically generate emails to relevant officials to alert them to cases needing attention.

The WCED will be able to generate summary reports on any level, as required, in real time.

Access to the data is limited to principals and officials on various levels, to ensure confidentiality.

I am confident that this new system will help assist the department, schools and parents in placing learners more effectively.

We will always encounter late enrollments due to a number of reason (ie. earners moving residence or provinces) which cannot be foreseen.

However, having information such as this, available to us will greatly assist us in not only ensuring learners are placed before the 2015 school year starts, but will also assist in placing learners that enroll late.