System to track pupils
The Department of Education has unveiled a R166million electronic pupil record and tracking system that will enable the authorities to follow the movement of each pupil from school to school throughout their careers.
Launched by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor in Pretoria yesterday, the National Learner Unit Record Information and Tracking System (Lurits) will also keep a history of each pupil from grade R to grade 12 in the system.
Pandor said unlike the present system, which collects aggregated survey data twice a year from each school and integrates the information into a national bulk store, the new system will store individual records of each pupil and be regularly updated.
Each pupil will be allocated a tracking number by the central system to be installed at the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) in Centurion. Tracking numbers will remain with pupils throughout their school career.
The main system will be divided into nine provincial systems that will interact at national level.
The system has an access and control module that will enable provinces to delegate certain functions to district or regional level.
Each file sent to the central system will be compressed and encoded for security purposes.
The information will only be accessed by authorised education officials and access will be controlled with an expiry date.
Core functions of the system are storage and management of pupils' year-end progression and administration of pupils' transfers between schools and provinces.
The system will also store teachers' biographical data and manage national school lists.
"Schools with manual record storage systems will interact with the programme through a paper scanning data capture option, and schools with computerised administration will interact directly with the system," Pandor said.