Pearson empowers students with innovative education solutions

The Story

Pearson’s world-class educational solutions and assessments equip South African learners and students with the tools to succeed.

Rodgers Chihwai radiates joy as he conducts the choir at Harmony Christian School in Rustenburg. He is the Deputy Principal, as well as a Maths and Science teacher, and is truly passionate about education. He ardently asserts that a good education can change a child’s destiny for ever. Rodgers believes that, as an educator who wants to make a difference, he constantly needs to ask himself, “How best can I do it?”.

Sadly, largely due to the legacy of the past, education in South Africa faces serious challenges. Today, South African children are performing amongst the lowest in the world in Mathematics and Literacy. Challenges such as slow or no internet connectivity at schools, along with the lack of funds to construct science laboratories, are leaving certain schools disadvantaged in comparison to well-funded schools. However, creative technological solutions have the power to bridge this gap.

Education is often the only route – particularly for children from underprivileged backgrounds – to a better life.

Just as passionate about education as Rodgers, is the world’s learning company, Pearson. They combine world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalised learning at scale. Pearson believes that wherever learning flourishes so do people. The launch of MyPedia into select South African schools has served as an inventive answer to many of the challenges learners face. Science labs can be simulated digitally, and Maths curriculums presented in accessible lessons, which teachers can project onto screens in their class rooms. As all the programmes run off flash disks, schools with no internet connection still have access to the content.

To combat the challenges of illiteracy, Pearson South Africa launched their successful reading programme, Vuma, which provides culturally appropriate and recognisable stories and characters to inspire a love of reading from an early age. By not mastering literacy at a young age, an enormous burden is placed on the rest of a child’s education. Through Vuma, however, South African learners and teachers are provided with the tools required to improve reading with understanding in the foundation phase.

As part of the company’s organic growth in the direct delivery of learning, Pearson South Africa also acquired Pearson Institute of Higher Education (PIHE). This group has 12 campuses, over 7 000 students and 35 different nationalities represented across their campuses in South Africa. The aim at Pearson Institute is to transform lives through learning and to produce employable graduates who are prepared for all aspects of the modern workplace. To this end, students benefit from a diversity of academic ideas and a range of career-focused qualifications and programmes.

Pearson Institute graduate, Bonginkosi Mchunu, remembers how his late mother yearned for just one of her children to not become a taxi driver. Bonginkosi successfully completed his studies cum laude and is currently employed by Pearson South Africa as part of its graduate programme. Apart from making his mother’s dreams come true, he also says that his colleagues at Pearson South Africa inspire him to imagine more for his own life.

Their love for South Africa, and their commitment to making a meaningful difference to the country, is evident through the educational solutions and assessments which Pearson offers. Education is often the only route – particularly for children from underprivileged backgrounds – to a better life. And by providing them with a decent education, it not only reduces the gap between the haves and the have-nots, but also gives them a chance at a brighter future they deserve.

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Bringing Technology Into The Classroom

Because of South Africa’s historical background, the education system has a huge gap between schools that are well-resources and schools that have little to no resources. Pearson is trying to bridge that gap by providing technological means in schools that are at a disadvantage. That way, it is leveling up the playing field for students to have a better chance in succeeding.

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Making A Direct Impact in People’s Lives

‘We are passionate about South Africa and making a meaningful difference in this country,’ Ebrahim Matthews, Senior Vice President English and Global Schools Courseware, Pearson.

And that is why it’s very important for the education system to have partnerships like this one, to give birth to effective innovation systems.

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Read to Succeed

Bulelwa Siqwana, foundation phase teacher at Impendulo Primary School, believes it’s important to teach young children to read at an early stage because “if they miss out now, they won’t make it.”

Life Changing Learning Opportunities

Pearson Institute provides bursaries to well-deserving students and Bonginkosi Mchunu has been fortunate enough to have been one of those recipients to graduate at the Pearson Institute of Higher Learning.

With a B-Com Law degree under his belt – the sky is definitely the limit!

Real Opportunities for Success

Pearson’s Graduate Development Program is a great way to kick start your career. It encompasses a hands-on approach on practical career development and provides skills for a much better chance at succeeding.

The Route To A Brighter Future

“My hope for all children in this country is the same hopes and dreams I had for myself – you just want a fair shot.” – Ebrahim Matthews, Senior Vice President (English and Global Schools Courseware), Pearson.