- The South African Constitution Act 108 of 1996 [SAC]
Chapter 2, Section 32, 1(a) and (b), and 2
- The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
Chapter 7, Section 59, (1) and (2) determines that schools have to provide information to anyone, especially to the Head of Education in the province.
- Promotion to the Access Of Information Act, No. 2 of 2000 [PAIA]
Promotion to the Access of Information Act states clearly that the Department must provide information to anyone that requires that information.
- Manual on the Promotion of Access to Information Act [M PAIA]
- Circular MG: 15/2012 – The Importance of Data Collected by Surveys and the Role of Principals In This Regard… [Reference B2 15/2012]
- The Department of Basic Education is legally required to annually collect data from schools. The purpose of this data collection process is to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners. Educational Planning has an impact on the provision of learner and teacher support material (LTSM), payment of salaries to educators and the organisational structure of the Department. Information therefore required for education planning must be accurate, timely, needs-driven, useful, relevant and accessible.
- Education Management Information System is a function and unit in the Department of Basic Education responsible for developing and maintaining an integrated education information system for the management of education. The Department of Basic Education is legally required to collect data from schools in order to plan effectively for the provision of quality education to all learners. Education Planning ranges from the provision of books to learners, the payment of salaries to educators right up to the organisational structure of the Department. Therefore the information required for education planning must be accurate, timely, relevant and accessible. The Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) unit, in conjunction with other sections in the Department, is responsible for capturing, analysing and storing this data.
- The integrated information system is accomplished through the acquisition, processing, dissemination and reporting of quality education data.
- It is used for:
- Education planning and decision-making,
- Financial allocation (including the equitable share)
- Accounting, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of relevant education policies; provide information to evaluate indicators
- Tool for the Minister and the Department to provide answers to parliamentary questions
- National education information needs
- There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: The Snap Survey (the Tenth Day), the Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. Ad hoc surveys can also be requested from time to time as the need arises.
- The raw data supplied by schools to EMIS is processed, analysed and stored in a data bank. Specific information can then be extracted from the data bank on request and made available to the different sections of the National Department and other users. The information captured by EMIS covers three broad categories: Learners, Educators and Physical Infrastructure.
- Provincial surveys
There are six regular surveys, which are conducted by EMIS. These are: the Snap Survey (Tenth Day), The Annual Survey, Educator information, Grade 1 admissions, Quarterly return on learner attendance and Leave of educators. In addition to these surveys there are also ad hoc surveys, which may be conducted as the need arises. In all these surveys specific and accurate data must be provided. The survey forms will be sent to the schools annually through the District Offices. The principal is responsible for the prompt, thorough and correct completion of the survey form and must certify the information accordingly.
- Snap Survey: This survey is conducted on the 10th school day of each year and collects basic aggregated information on learner and educator statistics for ordinary schools. Ordinary schools are schools that offer any combination of grades between grade R and grade 12, both public and independent. It is a criminal offence to supply incorrect information on this form.
- Annual Survey: This survey is conducted on the 1st Tuesday of March of the year. It is the main survey of schools and is very detailed. Detailed disaggregated data is collected from ordinary schools. Data includes disaggregation by grade, gender, age, population group, medium of instruction, home language etc. The annual survey remains the main source of information for EMIS. Due to the size and scope of the survey data is only available for reporting from September of each year. Collected data is used for the provisioning of educators to schools for the following academic year, the funding of ordinary schools and various other projects. Principals of all public schools, including LSEN schools, must complete an annual survey, applicable to their schools, and return it to the District Office. Principals must adhere to the return dates as far as possible so as to assist the District Offices in reaching their own deadlines.
- Educator information
This form is part of the EMIS 1.2 annual survey and gathers data on educators. Each educator at a school is required to complete it.
- Quarterly return of learner attendance
This form collects data on the daily attendance of learners. It is a summary of learner attendance during each quarter of the year. The completed form must be returned to the District Office on the last day of each term.
- Quarterly return of educators and nonteaching staff leave
This form collects data on approved leave of educators. It is a summary, which the principal has to submit to the District Office at the end of each term.
- Provincial surveys
- Principals should see to it that copies are kept of all statistical submissions. In the case of electronic submissions, it is essential that backup copies are made of the discs or that hardcopy printouts are made for the purpose of safekeeping.
- Where the tasks above are delegated, principals should check that the information is correct and that totals balance. All copies of forms should also be checked. The principal remains responsible even if he/she delegates the task to a staff member.
- The national EMIS unit – in co-ordination and alignment with and inputs from provincial EMIS units -has the further responsibility to:
- Determine and develop the national EMIS policy and education information standards and to ensure its compliancy
- National education information user needs;
- Compile and designs data collection instruments
- Verify, validate and quality assure education data
- Integrate and consolidate education information
- Publish and report education information
- National EMIS provides support and guidance to the provincial EMIS functions
- EMIS Organization; Coordination and Supporting Bodies
EMIS units were established in each of the tiers of government departments, namely, national and provincial. The National Education Information Policy (Gazette 26710, 2004) designates the National and Provincial
EMIS Officers to coordinate, control and release official statistical data to all its users. The EMIS policy is currently being amended to designate district and institutional Information Officers to serve a similar function as those of national and provincial EMIS officers, in future.
On four occasions in the financial year EMIS national meets with its provincial counterparts to manage, plan and align activities of the enterprise.
- EMIS information Users
EMIS units (Provincial and national) regularly provide services to other components in education as well as education information to:
- Minister of Education, Department of Education and Provincial Education Departments
- Other government departments and state agencies at national, provincial and local level
- National Treasury: Allocation of the Equitable share for provinces
- Legislative and constituent bodies
- Regulatory bodies
- Civil society organisations
- Local and international education agencies
- Learners, educators and community groups including school and college governing bodies
- Business and the private sector
- Unions; partners and stakeholders in education