Training session takes place for Principals and Admin staff on Personal Info

Author: Cheera-Dee Robinson
Date: 30 August 2022

The Eastern Cape Department of Education is holding a two-hour training session for Principals and Admin staff on the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act and encryption of SA School Administration and Management System (SASAMS) at the Mandla Makupula Education Leadership Institute in East London from the 29-31 August 2022.

POPI is the right of access to information, it is determined in conjunction with the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 0f 2013, (referred to in this document as POPIA) which came into effect on 1 July 2020.  As per section 18 of POPIA, Association of Christian School International (ACSI) processes varying types of personal information that is dependent upon the type of relationship entered into between the organization and the stakeholder concerned, which includes but is not exclusive to:

  • Names of natural or Member school details, juristic persons, images of natural or juristic persons, identity numbers, company registration numbers, staff numbers, work permit details, dates of birth, nationality, passport numbers, citizenship details, driver’s license details, gender, details regarding disabilities, marital status, number of dependents, criminal convictions, contact details, age.

When asking Nosipho Mdedojiyane, Acting Deputy Chief Education Specialist (DCES) for Education Management Information System (EMIS): Buffalo City Metropolitan (BCM), why she feels this training is important for principals and admin staff she had this to say, “At the department, we use SASAMS, which stores personal information such as qualifications, id numbers and contact details, for all teaching and non-teaching staff members, so this training will guide them on how to keep this information safe, what information is allowed to be shared and what personal information needs consent to be shared.”

The POPI Act, which stands for Protection of personal information, was put into place to protect the rights of individuals and the organization i.e., learners, teachers, and parents.  Non-compliance with the POPI ACT carries serious consequences with fines and other penalties. In some cases of non-compliance with the act, carries a fine of up to R10 million and / or imprisonment of up to 10 years.  For the less serious offences, for example, hindering an official in the execution of a search and seizure warrant the maximum penalty would be a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or both a fine and such imprisonment.

Important tips were given to the attendees on ensuring data devices, user management and mandatory data transmission:

  • When the laptop is not in use, it needs to be password locked.
  • The laptop needs to be stored in a locked cabinet at the end of the day.
  • Do not leave your laptop unattended in public areas.
  • Do not leave your laptop in the front of your vehicle.

This interactive session was informative, and target driven, where ECDoE will reach 902 principals and admin staff just in the Buffalo City Metro, all other education districts are running their own programs for the same training.


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