Qual­ity and af­ford­abil­ity com­bined

Finweek English Edition - - Educor -

AROUND 20 000 PUPILS through­out South Africa could ob­tain ac­cess to af­ford­able private ed­u­ca­tion in the next decade or so – thanks to a suc­cess­ful school model in which Educor be­came in­volved at end-2005.

Th­ese schools, which will be set up on at least 20 iden­ti­fied cam­puses, will be built and run jointly by Educor and Curro, an ed­u­ca­tion group that en­tered private ed­u­ca­tion with a school in Dur­banville, Cape Town, in 1998 and built it up from only 28 pupils into a model school with 950 pupils.

Educor ob­tained a 26% in­ter­est in Curro af­ter it con­ducted re­search on af­ford­able private schools in SA and was im­pressed by the suc­cess of the Curro group, which has a model ly­ing some­where be­tween the for­mer Model C schools and private schools.

“It’s the af­ford­abil­ity – just R1 000 to R2 500 per month, de­pend­ing on the ed­u­ca­tion phase, com­bined with classes con­tain­ing a max­i­mum of 20 pupils and qual­ity teach­ing – that makes par­ents ex­cited,” says Curro CEO Chris van der Merwe. “More than 80% of our matrics have so far ob­tained univer­sity en­trance.”

Van der Merwe says Curro’s sec­ond school, at Lange­baan, on the Cape west coast, opened its doors on 15 Jan­uary 2007 with about 180 pupils. “The af­ford- abil­ity of the model makes the con­cept of private schools more ac­ces­si­ble for a larger group of South Africans.”

Curro makes pro­vi­sion for both English- and Afrikaans-speak­ing pupils and of­fers teach­ing from the pre-pri­mary level to grade 12. The na­tional ed­u­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum is fol­lowed. “The low cost is thanks to Curro’s per­sonal in­volve­ment in the con­struc­tion, which en­sures that a large and at­trac­tive cam­pus can be built for around R30m.”

Educor be­lieves there’s a grow­ing mar­ket for private schools in SA. MD Hen­nie Louw says only 1,2% of chil­dren in SA are at private schools, as against the world av­er­age of 14%.

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