Beware of dodgy schools, warns IEB chief
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Johannesburg - With the release of the Independent Examination Board (IEB) exams results on Friday showing an increase in the pass rate, the body has warned parents to be vigilant about enrolling their children in schools with no integrity.
This follows allegations of exam paper leaks in some parts of the country over the last couple of years. The IEB pass rate for this year is 98.67 percent, up from last year’s 98.30 percent.
The exam body’s chief executive, Anne Oberholzer, said because the country has been rocked by cheating during final-year examinations the IEB has prioritised the security of their exams through technology.
“The IEB has prioritised the protection of its examinations from breaches of security as far as possible, using sophisticated technology and emphasising the ethical role that educators must play in building an ethical society,” she said.
Oberholzer said that though they hadn’t had any breaches yet, “any examination system is only as strong at the weakest link in the integrity chain”.
She warned parents to be vigilant about the schools where they enrol their children.
“Parents should be vigilant that the school they choose for their children upholds the highest ethical values that they would want their children to subscribe to. There are a number of associations to which independent schools may belong that assure the public of the bona fides of their member schools,” Oberholzer said.
She also urged parents to ensure that schools are registered with provincial education departments. This warning comes after the arrest of an owner of a Limpopo independent school who was implicated in the leaking of Maths paper 2 in the Vhembe district. The paper was distributed through WhatsApp to candidates. This is the third consecutive year that the National Senior Certificate exams have been rocked by a cheating scandal.
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University of Pretoria education expert Professor Kobus Maree said it was easier for the IEB exams not to have cheating scandals because they have a smaller cohort than public schools.
This year, 11022 full-time and 703 part-time candidates from 237 examination venues in the country and in Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland wrote the IEB matric exams.
Maree said: “It is so much easier to do checks because of the low enrolment figures.
“Another important thing is that the organisation has money and is able to recruit better-qualified people to do the checks and balances.”
On why IEB candidates seem to perform better than government schools, Maree said: “Teachers are in class when they are supposed to be and so are learners.
“The schools have a lot of money so they are able to hire better-qualified teachers. There is also a lot of parental involvement in these schools.”
This year’s IEB cohort has achieved a higher percentage of degree entrance marks at 87.61 percent, compared to 85.26 percent last year. Candidates who are not satisfied with their results have until January 10 to apply for re-marks and rechecks.
The remark and recheck results will be released on February 1. Candidates who want to write supplementary examinations have until February 6 to apply. The results will be released on March 31.