Distance Learning - English - page 1

Distance Education and the IEB
To offer the NaƟonal Senior CerƟficate qualificaƟon at Grade 12
through the IEB, a learner is required to be registered at a school
offering full‐Ɵme tuiƟon. AlternaƟvely, the learner may be
registered with a distance educaƟon provider that ensures that the
learner knows the examinaƟon requirements; the distance
educaƟon provider provides tuiƟon for the learner, be it online or
paper‐based, with periodic face‐to‐face sessions, and finally,
ensures that learners complete the site‐based assessment
requirements and other assessments for the qualificaƟon as
necessary. These providers ensure that the learners' work is
properly marked and submiƩed to the IEB.
There are currently 3 distance educaƟon insƟtuƟons that offer their
NaƟonal Senior CerƟficate examinaƟons through the IEB, namely
Brainline, Haƞield ChrisƟan Online and Le‐Amen. Brainline and
Haƞield Online provide learners with the opportunity to offer the
full NSC qualificaƟon, i.e. a minimum of 7 subjects, as well as the
opportunity to offer fewer than 7 subjects in the Grade 12 year.
Le‐Amen focusses predominantly on part‐Ɵme candidates who offer
less than 7 subjects in a year.
This arrangement enables those learners who are unable to give
consistent aƩenƟon to their studies the opportunity to spread their
studies over more than one year. While spreading the study load
over more than one year will inevitably assist weaker learners, there
are numerous other reasons why learners may not be able to aƩend
schooling on a regular basis. These include illness which may require
extended treatment; learners who are talented in a specific area,
e.g. an area of sport, dance, and need to parƟcipate in
tournaments or internaƟonal events; learners who may live at a
distance from the nearest school; or learners who may have
problems adapƟng to a regular classroom environment. Distance
educaƟon offers these learners a chance to complete their school
educaƟon and aƩain a naƟonal and internaƟonally recognised
qualificaƟon under the direcƟon of qualified teachers.
Master Maths is a further opƟon. This insƟtuƟon offers tuiƟon to
learners in MathemaƟcs and Physical Sciences. Learners at Master
Maths may be repeaƟng these subjects, having failed them at
school, or, having completed their Grade 12 NSC, wish to offer one
of these subjects for the first Ɵme and hence need to write their
NSC examinaƟon in these subjects. Master Maths offers learners
the opportunity to write the NSC examinaƟon through the IEB.
The IEB offers its NaƟonal Senior CerƟficate under the auspices of
Umalusi and hence all its candidates, including those registered at
one of the distance educaƟon insƟtuƟons, are required to complete
the programme as laid out in the IEB Subject Assessment Guidelines
which in turn fulfil the requirements of the naƟonal curriculum and
the Umalusi direcƟves. For this reason, these learners are required
to complete oral examinaƟons, pracƟcal examinaƟons, Performance
Assessment Tasks and any other subject‐specific requirements that
learners at a normal day‐school are required to complete. The
insƟtuƟons have laid out the process they wish to follow in order to
fulfil the requirements and in consultaƟon with the IEB, a process
has been established that enables both parƟes to fulfil the required
obligaƟons. It has been a very interesƟng and at the same Ɵme
rewarding journey, in that together we have been able to provide
learners, who might not have been able to complete their schooling,
with the opportunity to achieve the NSC.
The 2015 academic results of the distance educaƟon learners were
very pleasing. One must always consider that learners who do not
regularly aƩend classes are generally required to exercise a lot more
self‐discipline to study than learners who are in a class group and
have the constant physical presence of a teacher to moƟvate,
encourage or push them to work. Therefore, the achievement of a
full qualificaƟon in the first year of study at Grade 12 through dis‐
tance educaƟon is an enormously significant achievement.
In 2015, 216 learners were registered to write the full set of
examinaƟons for the NSC qualificaƟon through an IEB distance
educaƟon insƟtuƟon. 11 did not write all the examinaƟons and
hence 205 learners offered the full NSC qualificaƟon. Of these,
81 (39.5%) achieved a pass enabling them to enter degree study;
70 (34.2%) achieved a pass enabling them to enter diploma study;
and 13 (6.3%) achieved a pass enabling them to enter higher
cerƟficate study. The pass rate for those learners offering the full
qualificaƟon was 80%. There was a total of 431 subject entries of
learners offering fewer than 7 subjects. There was a total of 337
subject passes, i.e. 78.2%. 274 of the subject passes exceeded 40%,
i.e. 63.6%. This is a laudable achievement given that the pass rate
for distance study is tradiƟonally much lower than candidates
aƩending school on a full‐Ɵme basis.
As technology improves and the number of learners who require
educaƟon but are unable or unwilling to aƩend a tradiƟonal school
increases, the importance of funcƟonal and effecƟve alternate
methods of provisioning becomes more and more relevant. The IEB
is dedicated to providing learners, wherever they may be, the
opportunity to achieve their NaƟonal Senior CerƟficate. As with
anything, success comes from hard work on the part of the learner
and commitment from the learning insƟtuƟon to support and
encourage them as best they can. The success of the learners at
distance and part‐Ɵme insƟtuƟons, registered to write the IEB
examinaƟons, shows that this is a viable alternaƟve to tradiƟonal
educaƟon.
January 2016
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