IEB CEO says many schools could not deploy an online teaching model either because the school or the majority of learners did not have adequate resources. Picture: Reuters
IEB CEO says many schools could not deploy an online teaching model either because the school or the majority of learners did not have adequate resources. Picture: Reuters

IEB Matric Results: Some schools failed to make smooth transition to online teaching due to lack of resources

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Feb 19, 2021

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Johannesburg - As 2020 matric learners from private schools gather to fetch their final exam results on Friday, the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) has praised teachers for the role they played in the progress of learners during the coronavirus pandemic.

IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams announced that the 2020 matriculants’ pass rate was 98.07%, slightly lower than 2019’s pass rate of 98.82%.

The board added that all matric candidates who passed achieved a pass that was good enough to enter tertiary education after 88.42% of the cohort achieved entry to degree study, 8.14% qualified for entry to diploma study and 1.51% achieved entry for study at the Higher Certificate level.

A total of 12 024 full-time and 1 139 part-time candidates from 233 exam centres writing in 261 venues across southern Africa wrote IEB exams in October and November last year, compared with 11 818 full-time candidates and 779 part-time candidates in 2019.

Gauteng had the most learners, including part-time candidates, at 7 068 in 2020 from 109 different schools.

Last year, the province had 6 839 candidates from 106 schools.

“It’s interesting to note that the hard lockdown had differing impacts across schools within the IEB.

“Some schools were able to make a smooth transition to online teaching and learning as they had the resources available, and in fact had already been using them in the normal course of events,” said Anne Oberholzer, chief executive of the IEB.

However, Oberholzer said that many schools could not deploy an online teaching model, either because the school or the majority of learners did not have adequate resources. Teachers in these situations were forced to revert to traditional distance education strategies.

The chief executive said in some cases teachers prepared weekly learning programmes for learners using textbook references and notes together with prepared exercises and tasks. These were emailed to learners where possible, physically delivered to, or collected by, learners and family members from the school, and the complete tasks were returned to the school.

“The initiative of schools and teachers to continue with teaching and learning during this time is a testimony to their professionalism and the commitment of teachers and learners, as well as the support of parents to pivot and adapt to our changed circumstances,” Oberholzer said.

The IEB said that some schools saw a number of learners leaving to join distance and online education providers and there was also an increase in the number of children being homeschooled.

“However, it soon became apparent for many parents that the concept of home-schooling and the complexity and responsibility that goes into ensuring that their child is learning at an appropriate standard and pace is enormous, notwithstanding the massive adjustment for learners, many of whom struggled with this model and the social isolation,” Oberholzer said.

Oberholzer added that the educational consequences of the pandemic had brought home a new societal respect for teachers and the role they played in the development and progress of learners.

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