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President Piñera signs draft bill to improve School Admission System

The main objective of the initiative is to incorporate on a deeper scale the factors of merit, family and educational project of each establishment when selecting its students.

This Thursday, President Sebastián Piñera signed the draft bill to improve the School Admission System (SAE). The bill aims to ensure more fairness for all students and to maximize their merit and efforts, and that of their families, by incorporating these elements as a valid criterion for selection.

“With this bill we are going to contribute to a society with better quality education, with greater equal opportunities, and that values effort and recognizes and rewards merit", said the President at an activity held at Liceo Augusto D'Halmar, a secondary school in the Ñuñoa district of Santiago, accompanied by Education Minister Marcela Cubillos, other senior officials, parents and students.

The initiative establishes that educational establishments that meet certain quality requirements may be authorized by the Ministry of Education to use their own admission mechanisms in order to assess the academic merit of their applicants.

The foregoing considers a 30% quota reserved for priority students selected on academic merit and early specialization.

Furthermore, it aims to broaden the definition of “siblings” to include applicants that belong to the same household. The present system only considers full siblings, when in fact many households have children living together without being blood relatives.

Lastly, it sets forth that educational establishments that declare in their educational project an option for preferential education for vulnerable students may be authorized to increase the percentage of priority students, as long as they are rated to be in the upper or middle performance category by the Quality Agency.

“These are very important reforms that aim to give greater freedom to parents and educational establishments, that seek to respect the preferential right of parents in the education of their children, and to strengthen the freedom of educational projects”, said the President.

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