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What is SA-SAMS?

SA-SAMS is an acronym used to refer to the "South African School Administration and Management System". It is basically a software suite comprising a base software application (computer program) and separate software modules, integrated in union.

Schools used separate applications in their day-to-day running, e.g. separate Administration Systems for Learners, Curriculum-related Data, Finances, Timetabling, the Library, etc. and heaps of manually prepared reports and lists. This resulted in a continuous, time-consuming, counter-productive cycle of duplication of data into three - or more - separate systems. Incompatible systems, regular updates, expensive training for individuals, exaggerated licensing fees, development and support costs were frequently prevalent. Thus, SA-SAMS was developed.

SA-SAMS is a robust, actively developed and maintained computer application, specifically designed to meet all Administration, Management and Governance needs of South African Schools (Public, Specialised, Full-Service and Private). The solution has a strong EMIS focus to assist Schools, PEDs and DBE in record keeping, reporting and statistical analysis, by means of an innovative approach that allows end-users to shape the development of the solution itself. Data is collected on a National basis by means of LURITS (the Learner Unit Record Information and Tracking System), where it can be securely accessed for further analysis (Data Driven Districts) for effective decision-making on various levels.

SA-SAMS provides Schools with a free, easy to use and fully integrated software solution, containing all aspects of School Administration, Management and Governance requirements, in one package. A Timetabling Assistant (by means of TimeDesign) was integrated to assist Schools with the tedious, time-consuming and complicated task of allocating Educators to Subjects and Classes, seamlessly. The user interface provides easy access to various Modules and is specifically adapted to cater for novice to expert computer users. A button interface and user prompting mechanism is used, as opposed to more complicated and less user-friendly menu-based structures.

Although an initial encounter with SA-SAMS may seem somewhat overwhelming, once a user masters the basics, it grows to form an essential resource in managing the day-to-day running of the school.

SA-SAMS is not merely a school administration system. Important advantages of using the software entail:
  • being made available to South African Schools free of charge;
  • addressing a school's administrative, management and governance needs;
  • regular updates to align the software with National requirements in terms of changes in Legislation, Policies and Procedures;
  • the accommodation of software bug-fixes, new and extended feature requests;
  • keeping track of registered learners on a National scale, and
  • little effort to seamless integration in reporting statistical information (surveys) to Provincial EMIS Sections and DoE at National level.
The implementation and development of SA-SAMS is a continuous, joint partnership between SITA (the State Information Technology Agency), DBE (the Department of Basic Education, PEDs (Provincial Education Departments), School Districts and staff members at school level.

Some information supplied, as amended, by acknowledging prior work done by the Department of Basic Education.

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