|The IEB works in an educational environment of extremes – state and independent schools; well-resourced and under-resourced schools; exceptional teaching that compares very well with the best in the world and classrooms in which, at best, teaching is synonymous with reading from a set of notes or a textbook, if a teacher is present at all; schools in which integrity and concern for a common good are overriding values and others where success is attained by fair means or foul, where values are secondary to one's own individual needs and desires. One can go on and on describing the range of diverse attitudes, situations and experiences evident in the education landscape in our country, in our region and on our continent.
Faced with the dilemmas that are education in South Africa, the staff and Board members of the IEB reflected on our intentions in participating in the educational project of this region. We are clear that education is as much a philosophical undertaking, underpinned by social as well as educational values, as it is a technical exercise carried out by a professional body of experts. It was the desire to make the philosophical underpinnings of the IEB's work explicit that led to the formulation of this statement – The Intentional Educational Beliefs of the IEB.
In this statement we have tried to explain what we see as the educational purpose of an organisation such as the IEB. In our assessments and related activities we attempt to encourage schools and teachers to provide learners with the opportunities to explore topics, participate in activities and be exposed to discussions and debates that develop the kinds of skills and attitudes we believe every modern member of our society needs to have mastered. Our complex world and our own very complex society demands citizens who are not only courageous but able to determine what we need and how to bring that better world into being. The IEB makes every effort to ensure that our assessments are globally competitive and that our learners have access to assessments that compete at the highest level. We believe that given the opportunity, our learners from our region are capable of achieving along with the top global achievers; this is the driver for the IEB Advanced programmes and our participation in international benchmark tests.
It is this belief in the quality of our learners and our nation that inspires the IEB to try and influence the educational experience beyond assessment. It is with this backdrop that the IEB presents this statement of what it stands for as an educational institution. The vision of the IEB is to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation and international comparability.
The IEB is cognisant that assessment is essential in developing learners who are responsible South African citizens, able to negotiate the challenges of a global world. Through our assessments, we are motivated to develop learners who are:
The IEB supports the position that actively promoting quality education for every South African citizen is fundamental in establishing a just, open society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights, in which cultural diversity is appreciated and embraced.
- critical users of information
- ethical reasoners
- problem solvers
- creative and reflective
- lifelong learners
- respectful of diversity, particularly in the South African context
- active citizens who are committed to upholding of the principles of the South African Constitution and the wellbeing of all peoples
The IEB’s mission is to make a significant, on-going contribution to human resource development through the design, delivery and promotion of a wide range of high quality, affordable assessment products and services to all sectors. The work of the IEB is underpinned by a commitment to the following values: Integrity, respect, commitment and service, professionalism, communication, quality, teamwork.