About Us / The rationale for the IEB-ISC
The rationale for the IEB-ISC extends beyond specific circumstances that arose in respect of the National Senior Certificate that prompted the development of the ISC. Other developments locally and internationally have indicated a need for an international qualification other than those currently in existence.

The Covid pandemic has had a significant impact on society’s understanding of how education and learning happens. While the notion of distance education for students of school-going age existed previously, it is now being considered more seriously as an educational option. Whether the choice is governed by a specific need or whether the choice is a personal preference in respect of a child’s learning style, there is a far better understanding and acceptance of distance education including online education. 
An increased understanding of how technology can be used to overcome issues of safety as well as distance, has ensured that distance education is considered a positive development in the education landscape.

These providers enable access to education for students who may currently have to go to a boarding school, away from their homes, because of long distances they would have to travel on a daily basis.   

They meet the need of parents who wish to keep their children in education when circumstances make attendance at school difficult or impossible – local decisions about the closure of schools; disruptions to the operation of schools as a result of war, fighting between different political factions, rioting; in short when the well-being of children may be at risk.  

This provisioning accommodates students who are forced to “home-school” because they are unable to attend school on a regular basis because of illness, disabilities, they have a specific talent that requires extensive practice and attendance at competitions e.g. dedicated sports persons, dancers, musicians and so on.  

The IEB has been working in this area since 2009 and has refined its systems to ensure a mutually beneficial process of operation that supports the integrity of the learning and assessment processes.

Some educational institutions are able to provide adequate tuition in some subjects but are hard-pressed in other subjects – shortage of adequately qualified or competent teachers, small student numbers and so on.  This has been addressed in some cases by a hybrid model of delivery i.e. some subjects are offered face-to-face and others are offered through distance education.  In fact, such arrangements could reduce the running costs of schools without compromising the range of subject offerings they are able to provide.  The IEB, and IEB International in particular, formally recognises distance and hybrid models of provisioning in addition to traditional schooling.

Recognition of the importance of mother-tongue education is a key factor in the success of students.  Currently there are no international qualifications that recognise this adequately for students in a number of countries, particularly Africa. 

The IEB-ISC serves mother-tongue speakers of English and Afrikaans as languages of learning and teaching. However, the IEB has also included a provision in the ISC that should there be sufficient demand to make it viable and that there are appropriate options for tertiary education, other languages can be considered as languages of teaching and learning.  

The ISC accommodates a number of African languages for study at the level of mother-tongue and at the level of an additional language where the learner may require a significant level of competence - e.g. being an IsiZulu speaker at home, the student offers IsiZulu at a home language level; however, the student wishes to attend a university that offers tuition in English and hence requires a significant level of proficiency in English.  There is also the option of offering the language at a level intended primarily for communication purposes, rather than as a language of learning and teaching.