Pearson South Africa includes some of the best known and most respected names in publishing including; Maskew Miller Longman, Heinemann, Prentice-Hall, and Addison-Wesley.
We speak to Executive Head of Learning Resources, Reggie Mokotsi, to find out what Pearson has to offer teachers and schools today …
Tell us about your company’s history?
Pearson’s origins date back to 1724, when Thomas Longman founded Longman. Pearson was founded in 1844 by Samuel Pearson as S. Pearson and Son, a small construction company in Yorkshire in the north of England. The Maskew Miller family began supplying schools with
stationery and textbooks as far back as 1893.
Here are some of our other significant moments in our history:
Late 1700s Samuel Johnson publishes the first definitive Dictionary of the English Language. Through our African Writers series, we have been publishing top names in African literature for over 75 years.
1994 We cause a stir with the first post-apartheid history textbook. Nelson Mandela launched the first titles in our They Fought for Freedom series.
2006 We launch the first literature awards in South Africa to support writing in all 11 official languages.
2010 Pearson acquires 75% stake in CTI Education Group.
2012 We invest in new technologies and services that mean we are able to gain even more access to top-quality, global content for our products.
2016 CTI and MGI accredited and renamed to become Pearson Institute of Higher Education. Today, this group has 12 campuses across South Africa. Our 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.
Tell us about your product range?
At Pearson we believe that learner performance can be improved when both teachers and learners are equipped with quality learning resources filled with relevant and engaging content.
We work with teachers and learners to create and continually improve our wide range of products and services. We create content in all 11 official languages for learners from preschool to Grade 12. Whether it’s our trusted CAPS-approved textbooks, dictionaries and
supplementary resources, we put the learner at the heart of everything we do.
Our most popular series for CAPS-approved textbooks is Platinum, but other key brands also widely used and loved by teachers include Spot On, Focus, Today and Classroom Mathematics.
A core focus for Pearson is to encourage a love of reading from an early age and to provide products that assist teachers in teaching children how to read as literacy forms a solid foundation for future success in education.
Stars Of Africa and Kagiso have provided teachers with trusted readers for many years but we are most proud of our newest series called Vuma. Vuma, reflects the richness of our country, with a focus on improving reading, comprehension and understanding in mother tongue. Over a
three-year period at a dual-medium school in Cape Town, who used Vuma in the Foundation Phase, the performance in the Grade 3 Language systemic tests improved dramatically. The grade 3 language pass rate improved from 50% in 2015 to 71.7% in 2018.
Pearson provides a range of supplementary learning resources, from the well-known Longman and Longman-HAT dictionaries, to atlases, to workbooks and study guides. Two of our key local brands include Smart-Kids and X-kit Achieve.
At Pearson, we’re inspired by the learners and teachers who shape our society and we aim to respond with creative, innovative products to meet learning needs. We have addressed the continued challenges around Internet access and offer digital solutions that are affordable and
customised to the needs of learners and school resources.
MyPedia offers a blended teaching and learning solution that integrates print and digital learning resources. It is based on a sound pedagogical framework, underpinned by assessment for learning. It has been designed to save teachers lesson-preparation time and bring digital
learning into the classroom.
Teachers access offline, interactive lesson presentations that provide an effective front of class teach fully integrate curriculum aligned content with videos, as well as assessments.
MyPedia is just one way that we deliver on our promise to incorporate Pearson’s global experience in education to contribute towards effective technology-enabled learning.
What is your price point for customers?
South Africa’s education landscape is haunted by challenges around access and affordability. These are aggravated by social issues like poverty and linguistic barriers.
We offer free teaching and learning resources on our teacher platform, Classroom Solutions. Teachers can access teacher’s guides, editable lesson plans, printable worksheets and exam papers, and many more resources that they can use to create engaging lessons.
A wide range of eBooks are sold through our Pearson eStore from as little as R30. We have formed partnerships with other companies such as ITSI and Snapplify to provide wider coverage of our digital products. Educators, learners and parents can purchase our print titles from all leading bookstores and online retailers.
As we are partners in service to the Department of Basic of Education the prices of our products on the LTSM National Catalogue are set resulting in offering a high-quality product at reasonable prices.
Tell us about some of your top customers?
It is hard to identify our top school customers as Pearson creates content in all 11 official languages and have a footprint in all 9 provinces across South Africa. We are partners in service to the Department of Basic of Education, teachers, learners and parents.
We are proud that, every day, all over South Africa, our products and services help learning flourish, because wherever learning flourishes, so do people.
Congratulations to Pearson. They are the providers of Platinum textbooks, our number-one– SchoolAdvisor
rated product on SchoolAdvisor.
Do you provide product training for teachers?
To support teachers in the classroom, we continue our strong tradition of excellence in teacher training. Our teacher-training workshops are run across the country by our dedicated and passionate team of trainers who are trained teachers. They are free for teachers to attend and cover a vast range of topics relevant to teaching the curriculum. In 2019 we ran 276 workshops across 5 provinces and trained 8 947 teachers from 4 278 schools.
The Pearson Marang Education Trust (PMET) has focused on best practice as an approach to improving the quality of teaching, learning and school management in South Africa, through research, engagement and development at the coalface of education.
PMET is a SACE Accredited Provider and works to support the Department of Basic Education and its policies by focusing on building capacity within the education system to enable and support the meaningful implementation of the DBE’s learning-centred, participatory, problem-
solving approach to teaching and learning.
Through appropriate interventions, PMET has helped rebuild schools and communities. Today they are in seven provinces, effectively reaching 120 000 learners.
Is your product range relevant to the SA market?
Pearson works with respected educators and practitioners to author our content. We have an established network of authors and subject matter experts that help us to deliver content aligned to the South African CAPS-curriculum. Our authors understand the South African curriculum
which helps them in creating our industry-leading content.
Pearson creates content in all 11 official languages and have a footprint in all 9 provinces. Our unique insight and local expertise comes from our long history of working closely with the Department of Education, teachers, learners, researchers, authors and thought leaders.
Do you have any resources available during lockdown?
Yes, in this uncertain environment, it’s important that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person. That’s why Pearson South Africa is providing access to online learning resources for people who are studying, teaching or working remotely.
For teachers, parents and learners
- Classroom Solutions
Join Classroom Solutions to access a vast range of downloadable teaching and learning resources for Grade R to 12 to assist in lesson planning and virtual teaching. Signup for free and receive an R400 eBook voucher to redeem on the Pearson eStore.
Visit Classroom Solutions
Download Quikik, a new math learning app designed for children aged 10-14, and their parents who might need some help in teaching math concepts in a productive way for them to learn at home. A FREE version of the app is now available on the Google Play and App Store.
- MyPedia HomeApp
To support Grade 4 to 12 learners, Pearson has made available an adapted version of its MyPedia learning platform, called MyPedia HomeApp. It allows learners to revise Term 1 content and learn Term 2 concepts through short (2-3 min) videos. Learners complete self- marking, interactive activities and work through exercises in the practice book, accessed via the app. Learners will be sent weekly assignments and can track their progress.
Parents simply need to register their child by completing an online form. Teachers are welcome to register too. Click here to complete the form.
MyPedia HomeApp can be accessed for free until 31 May 2020.
On our Smart-Kids website you’ll find fun worksheets for your child to practise their math and language skills. There are also extra online activities, such as readers, flashcards, worksheets and tests in Mathematics, English and Afrikaans. Smart-Kids is available in
Afrikaans as Slimkoppe.
Parents can find advice and tips, written by teachers, on the Parenting Tips and Homework blog.
Keep little ones practising their reading, writing and spelling with Letterland apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Letterland school customers can request access to Phonics Online for learners to enjoy Letterland animations, songs and readers at home.
Visit Letterland COVID-19 Resources website for additional free downloads.
- X-kit Achieve
The X-kit Achieve website provides high school learners with study support. Learners can search subject glossaries for definitions of key terms, get study advice and tips, access quick revision cards and find the study resources needed to help learners keep up with their school work and be ready for tests and exams.
What is at the top of your company’s wish-list?
Our vision is to have a direct relationship with millions of lifelong South African learners and to link education to the way people aspire to live and work every day. To do that, we’ll collaborate with a wide group of partners to help shape the future of learning. We believe that we all need to embrace lifelong learning, continuously acquiring new knowledge and skills to thrive in an ever-changing and increasingly connected world.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
As part of Pearson’s 2030 sustainability strategy, our focus is on the social and environmental areas that will make the biggest positive impact on learners, the planet and society while at the same time driving business growth, managing risks and reducing costs. Our focus areas are:
- Advance equity in learning for under-represented groups
- Build skills for a sustainable future, equipping learners with knowledge and skills to achieve the
- Lead by example through our commitment to human rights and the environment across our
We are focused on unleashing talent – the world’s most valuable resource. We need everyone to reach their full potential and help shape a brighter future. By leveraging our core business capabilities and partnering with others, we can help develop lifelong learning opportunities that
enable people to create better lives for themselves, their families and generations to come around the world.
Our focus is identifying, supporting and developing people so they can reach their full potential and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals – particularly goal 4 on quality education, goal 8 on decent jobs and economic growth, and goal 10 on reducing inequality.
Learn more at www.pearson.co.za