Quality and affordability combined
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%.