PSG acquires 50% interest in IT School Innovation - CNBC Africa

PSG acquires 50% interest in IT School Innovation

Southern Africa

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Children using digital platforms for e-learning. PHOTO: Getty Images

IT School Innovation (ITSI) platform is based on a learning model through which teachers are empowered to combine proven learning methods with modern technology. These consist of tablet computers and interactive e-books.

“After a world-wide search for an advanced digital platform, we eventually found [ITSI] in Pretoria. It is a most innovative and unique digital product and is already used by the Curro private schools group and the distance learning company, Impak,” said Dries Mellet of PSG Private Equity.

PSG has a 57 per cent interest in Curro Holdings, and PSG Private Equity also holds a majority shareholding in Impak.

PSG is also a JSE-listed investment holding company with investments in financial services, banking, private equity, agriculture and education.

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ITSI’s platform is particularly innovative, as printed textbooks can be converted into an interactive digital platform on a tablet computer. The conversion enables learners and teachers to add information components and share them easily with mutual partners.

Textbooks can be complemented by adding PDF documents to them, picture and website links for extra information, all at the touch of a button.

“The textbooks are provided by the major textbook publishers for digitalisation and are currently available in English and Afrikaans. With the necessary demand these can be made available in any language,” ITSI CEO Lieb Liebenberg explained.

ITSI started in 2006. After the use of the ITSI e-learning platform by one school in 2011, it has grown to 11 schools this year and it is expected that about 50 schools will make use of the platform by next year.

The ITSI e-learning platform allows one to determine to what extent learners and teachers are making use of it, making sure that the suitability and impact of an investment can be measured directly.

The e-learning platform started off with 40 learners and has since grown to 2,400 learners in 2013. By next year, the number is expected to grow to 12,500.

“Of importance is that ITSI does not see itself as a technological solution, but rather as an educational or academic solution. In essence it brings the best of traditional education methods and the best of technological methods together,” said Liebenberg. 

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