IEB CEO, Anne Oberholzer responds to our article: What's the fuss about IEB & Cambridge Schools?

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By CharterQuest, 04 November 2019

The Future CFO Magazine, concerned about the standards of Basic Education in South Africa as reported in our article, ‘What’s the fuss about IEB and Cambridge Schools?, and mindful of the need to provide our readers with a balanced assessment of the complexity of the country's Basic Education challenges and begin to shape a ‘think tank’ or constructive public policy debate, sought reaction from a range of stakeholders, starting with Independent Examination Board (IEB).

Our editor, Buhlebenkosi Mkandla, interviewed its CEO, Anne Oberholzer and filed this report:

Good day Anne, can you share with our readers, briefly about yourself?

I am a teacher by profession and have worked in Education in one form or another since 1979. I was the Deputy Executive Officer of SAQA before joining the IEB in 2005.

What is the role of IEB and what impact does your body make on the Public School System? 

The IEB was established when the old Joint Matriculation Board (JMB)  decided to stop its examining function in the 1980s. A group of principals from multi-racial independent schools did not wish to be part of the racially segregated Examining Boards and hence asked the JMB if they could take over the examining function from the JMB. At that time, the JMB was the only multi-racial Examining Board in the country. So the IEB was born. It has always stood for the principles of sound Education and human values above politics. Our work is to provide an alternate voice in Education discussion and to support and build the credibility of the South African Education System so that all learners benefit.

In simple terms for our readers, why does the country have two Examining Bodies for matric, the IEB and the National Exams Unit (NEU) within the Department of Basic Education (DBE)?

As explained, the existence of the IEB has historical roots. While currently we do not need to stand 

up against an apartheid regime, we cannot see into the future. There may come a time when it is important for Educational Institutions to take a stand against oppression of one sort or another. Then there must be a vehicle through which alternate views in educational matters can find expression. Active civil institutions are critical in a successful democracy.

What is your take on South Africa’s poor student outcomes in international rankings as reported in our article?

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