It is important for Macmillan Education South Africa to go beyond just doing business and to make an impact on the educational landscape with all its challenges. We chatted to Head of National Sales & Marketing, Antoinette De Vries, to find out about this world-class educational publisher and what they have to offer South African teachers and learners during the national lockdown.
Tell us about your company’s history?
When brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan founded their publishing company in 1843, they created a place that would recognise and value great contemporary writing with authors such as Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling to name a few.
When former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, became chairperson in the middle of the 20th century, he decided that education should be a key investment area of the organisation. His famous ‘Winds of Change’ tour of Africa in the 1960s provided the grand old man of publishing an opportunity to expand the Macmillan Publishing empire into Africa.
Harold Macmillan’s ‘Winds of Change’ continued to blow throughout South Africa in the 1970s, and Macmillan BOLESWA emerged as a fresh breeze from the old, conservative style of Southern African publishing – and soon became a potent educational publishing force in the region.
Due to apartheid in South Africa, the focus was soon changed to Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland where few publishers ventured. The company grew rapidly – and became the first affirmative action publishing company – long before it was fashionable.
With strong editorial and production support from the UK, Macmillan developed fresh, innovative products, which were light years ahead of the competition.
In late 1994, Macmillan publishing returned to South Africa and Macmillan South Africa (Pty) Ltd was established and registered.
Tell us about your product range?
Our offering includes a comprehensive spread in all grades, all official languages and all subjects. Our two core textbook series are Clever and Solutions for All. Our offering also includes the well-known Guidelines Blue Book Study Guides, as well as a variety of literature and other exciting reading materials. Macmillan Education is very proud to be the agent for a number of international publishers such as Hodder Education and Eleanor Curtain and we sell books from our sister companies: Macmillan UK and Macmillan Australia.
We are market leaders in the TVET College market and our TVET FIRST Series for NCV as well as NATED courses are used extensively by students in this sector.
We have a wide range of digital content available for schools and Colleges that enable students, learners, teachers and lecturers to implement digital learning and teaching.
Tell us about some of your top customers?
In South Africa, our customers include public and private schools as well as public and private TVET Colleges across the country.
Do you provide product training for teachers?
Yes, we understand that being a successful educational publisher is not only about creating exceptional teaching materials, teacher and lecturer training are integral to what we do at Macmillan Education South Africa.
The Macmillan Teacher Campus (MTC), a professional accredited teacher training unit, was officially launched in 2007. MTC is QCTO and ETDP SETA accredited and is a SACE registered professional teacher training unit. Our offering includes training and support in all phases ranging from ECD, GET, FET as well as TVET colleges. We are renowned for our accredited training courses.
Macmillan Teacher Campus is proud to be a signiﬁcant role-player in the implementation of the Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) system and to date we have trained more than 120 000 teachers.
Is your product range relevant to the SA market?
Yes, all our approved textbooks meet the Curriculum and Assessment Policies (CAPS) requirements and standards as approved by the Department of Basic Education.
Do you have any resources available during lockdown?
Yes, we wanted to support our customers during the difficult lockdown period and beyond and have therefor made resources, textbooks, literature titles and other support material available free of charge, to learners, teachers and parents.
- Free access to learner and teacher support material which include workbooks, readers and teacher support material through our website.
- Free access to CAPS –aligned textbooks available through Snapplify and ITSI.
- Access to free Macmillan Education webinars – see our social media.
- Access to articles, educational guides, teaching tips etc. on our website to support teachers, parents and learners through these difficult times.
Visit these links:
What is at the top of your company’s wish-list?
To develop and provide access to materials of the highest quality that will not only educate South African learners regardless of their context, but will also support teachers to deliver on their calling to educate, and furthermore have a positive impact on education and our society.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
To remain at the forefront of innovation, supporting the transition of the traditional South African classroom into a blended learning environment – offering print, digital and online products of the highest quality to enhance teaching and learning.
Visit Macmillan online.