The Gauteng Education MEC Mr. Panyaza Lesufi is seriously taken aback by the Independent Examination Board’s (IEB) attempt to force the poor to carry their financial burden.
The board even has the audacity to go to court where they seek to enforce this bizarre demand.
Ostensibly their court action, if successful, will mean that learners from rural areas and townships will heavily subsidise the rich learners in our country. Essentially that means the inequalities will grow even wider as the poor will fund the rich some of whom are not even living within the borders of Mzansi.
In their court papers filed on the 17th December 2020, the secretive IEB, claim they can’t afford to pay for the assessment services offered by UMALUSI. They are basically arguing that the public purse must pay for the rich as well as their clients in other countries like Mozambique, Namibia and eSwatini.
In their papers, they argue that they were not given sufficient time to budget for what they term a 2007 policy. IEB collects fees from their rich member schools who in turn charge parents humongous schools fees. IEB must find means to pay for the services rendered by UMALUSI.
IEB calls itself a non-profit making organization but what is strange is that it conducts its affairs as though it is a private company which refuses to disclose information regarding its business.
We want to warn IEB not to expose themselves that poor children have been subsidising them for ages without them paying for UMALUSI’s assessment services. For years, the state, through an annual grant to UMALUSI have been bankrolling the certification of the rich.
IEB has a mere 12 000 matric learners compared to the more than 1 million matric learners in the public education sector.
So the IEB and other bodies have been getting ‘freebies’ from a public institution and now they want the courts to legitimise it. When exposed they rush to court to request the court to endorse their free ride. What an arrogant and silly way to resolve matters.
For years the MEC for Education has called for the scrapping of so called Independent Examination Bodies in country. ‘You can’t have many examination bodies, one for the rich and the other for the rest, in one country. Besides all these learners go to the same universities and the same economy. Actually this court case serves as proof that we don’t need this so called independent examination body.
The MEC also further intends to raise this matter through the proper structures of the ruling party as it prepares for its National General Council (NGC) later this year. He argues ‘ that there should be one examination for all our children regardless of their economic background so that institutions like IEB should not cash on the disguise that they offer quality education whereas all their curriculum and pass marks are adjudicated by the same body that is adjudicating the public education system’
The MEC further calls on UMALUSI to refuse to be dictated to by a body that enjoys its accreditation from UMALUSI. If IEB doesn’t want to pay for the services rendered by UMALUSI let them disaffiliate from UMALUSI. IEB is a body that is refusing to transform or be transparent in their work. The time for freebies is over they must withdraw the court case and pay for services that will ensure quality education for all. The IEB must find other ways to fund their activities or cease to exist.
Panyaza Lesufi (Mr)
MEC: Education Gauteng Province
1 January 2021