South Africa’s largest private education provider, JSE-listed ADvTECH Limited, is growing its offering in the mid-fee schools sector, bringing the dream of a high-quality education closer to thousands more South African students and parents.
“Many South African parents have considered the option of sending their child to a private school, particularly in areas where there is insufficient capacity in good government schools,” says Christo De Wit, Managing Director of the College Brands within the ADvTECH Schools Division.
“Given SA’s tough economic climate, this option is not always within reach of parents seeking the highest level of academic excellence in education. However many more will now be able to access our offering, with the growth of our Pinnacle College campuses,” he says.
The Pinnacle College group of schools currently consist of six schools in the Gauteng region, including: Pinnacle College Rynfield in Benoni, Pinnacle College Founders Hill in Modderfontein, Pinnacle College Copperleaf in Centurion, Pinnacle College Kyalami, Pinnacle College Linden and Pinnacle College Waterfall in Barbeque Downs. Other provinces are set to benefit from future expansion.
“These schools provide a reasonably priced education which does not compromise on quality, and are supported by the same Central Academic Team that has seen ADvTECH’s premium brands such as Crawford College and Trinityhouse become some of the most sought after schools in the country. Our schools have a long and proud history of excellence supported by their insistence on the quality of input from skilled teachers who are supported with an extensive and ongoing professional development programmes,” notes De Wit.
“This is an area in which Pinnacle Schools both benefit from the opportunity to build on that legacy, while also putting together a performance-focused teaching team that will seek to ensure that the curriculum is developed alongside a deliberate programme of teaching global citizenship skills from research, collaboration, communication and social skills overlaid with strong critical and creative thinking ability.”
De Wit says the goal is for each student to progress incrementally as they move through the grades, ensuring that each one benefits optimally from his or her own individual developmental journey. At Pinnacle Colleges, students will write Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams. In the years leading up to their final exams, they will benefit from benchmarking assessments as well as opportunities to engage in a digital curriculum designed by the internationally acclaimed Digital Literacy programme expert Dr Neelam Parmar (primary years) to new age technology spaces and robotics programmes from the early grades through high school.
Individual attention is high on the agenda at Pinnacle Colleges, with small class sizes the norm.
“With our student-teacher ratio of around 15-to-1, students will be assured of individual attention. In addition, support and extra help is made available to students at no additional cost as part of the commitment to incremental growth for all children.
“We are also serious about ensuring quality parental and community involvement. We subscribe to the belief that the education of a child is a three-way partnership between the school, the parent and the student, and parents are encouraged to actively support and be part of their child’s education – whether academic or extra-curricular – and structured opportunities are created to enable this.”
De Wit says that because Pinnacle Colleges are part of the ADvTECH Schools group, investment in sports and culture facilities and amenities is done upfront so that the schools’ programmes are complete from Day 1.
“The result is that schools can benefit from all the advantages of being new while taking leveraging the existing strengths of the ADvTECH schools group.
But De Wit says parents considering a private school education should do their homework before deciding on a school.
“All private schools assume that parents will simply accept that their value proposition is a good one and better than a state school, but parents should interrogate this and seek a school that will offer a balanced curriculum, focused on achieving academic excellence by giving sufficient individual attention and in partnership with parents.”