2015 NSC Update from the Independent Examinations Board
19 October 2015
Today marks the start of the 2015 National Senior Certificate examinations for 10 228 fulltime candidates and 636 private candidates registered with the Independent Examinations Board (IEB). These candidates will conduct their examinations at 200 examination centres spread across the country. The IEB has over 25 years’ experience in offering school-leaving examinations as well as examinations at NQF Level 1 for adults in industry.
The IEB has set examination papers in 66 NSC subjects, 14 of which are non-official languages. The IEB also sets Advanced Programme examinations in 3 subjects, namely Mathematics, English Home Language and Afrikaans Home Language. These papers are written by learners in IEB as well as state schools. These subjects are rated by UK NARIC (UK National Recognition Information Centre) as equal in demand to A-level courses.
Because of the diverse abilities of learners in any education system, there is a need to provide an opportunity for talented learners to be challenged at the highest level. This is the reason for the IEB’s introduction of the Advanced Programme in Mathematics and language (English and Afrikaans). More importantly to ensure that all South African learners can participate, examinations in these stand-alone courses are available to learners in public as well as independent institutions of learning. Awards in these subjects have been benchmarked by UK NARIC as equivalent to A-levels.
While there have been some assessments during the year to date, the main NSC examination starts on Tuesday 21 October and will continue until Friday 28 November. Marking is centralised and will commence on 6 December in Johannesburg. The IEB anticipates that results will be released to learners on 31 December 2014.
Adult Assessments - Enhanced Security for AET NQF 1 Examinations
30 September 2015
The IEB has recently introduced an innovative approach to enhance the security of examination papers during transit and storage within the examination process in the adult education environment. This is in support of the IEB’s vision, to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation and international comparability.
The IEB piloted a combination locking system to protect the examination papers from being opened by any unauthorised individual, or prior to the scheduled examination session. Each centre’s examination papers are packed into a bag and then locked. Each centre is allocated a unique combination that changes per examination session and examination paper. The combination is then sent through to the Chief Invigilator or Centre Manager 45 minutes prior to the examination session to give them time to open the bag. After the examination, the scripts are packed into the same examination bags, which are re-locked before returning them to the IEB.
Our pilot involved 44 centres using 58 keys for the September 2015 NQF 01 Communication in English and Mathematical Literacy Learning Areas. On the day of each examination, the combination to open the bags was sent via SMS to the Chief Invigilators/Centre Managers. As with any new system, there were a few technical glitches, however all the centres managed to open the examination bags on time and within the grace period. The returning of the examination scripts also presented its challenges where some centres did not re-lock the examination bags.
The IEB is well aware that the integrity of an examination relies on the ethical conduct of personnel at the examination centre itself. The introduction of the security bags has nevertheless assisted in the tightening up security of the examination papers during transit and storage
As the IEB continues to roll out the project, we are confident our assessment centres will become familiar with the requirements of the process with the aim of improving security of the NQF level 1 examination.
The Primary School Initiative
10 March 2015
The IEB is proud to present the Primary School Initiative, or psi, designed to complement the IEB’s product offering to independent schools. For the past 25 years, we have focused on delivering quality support in assessment practices to independent high schools and are now extending that level of support to IEB primary schools.
The Primary School Initiative aims to broaden the awareness of the importance of good teaching and assessment practices at the primary school level. It wishes to establish a strong collaborative network of primary school educators who are fully conversant with local and global trends, developments and standards and assist primary schoolteachers in embedding these in their daily classroom interactions with learners.
To read more, go to psi