Jay Paul is the online business manager at the largest independent school network in South Africa, Curro, having taken up the role some four years ago, and with a mandate to make education more accessible to learners online.
Paul has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, specialising in mechanical engineering, and has previously also worked at several leading financial services consultancies including The Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, and Accenture.
In this episode of Business Talk with Michael Avery, Paul talks through Curro’s objective of making education more accessible and affordable through various online channels.
Curro’s low-cost flagship is in Foreshore, Cape Town, where its modern, technology-rich school offers English-medium teaching and accommodates learners from Grade 8 to Grade 10, with higher grades phasing in annually.
Curro says its unique e-learning model focusing on 21st-century skills prepares learners for the fourth industrial revolution through a project-based learning programme that emphasises science, mathematics, and technology.
Students learn primarily from an online platform, Paul notes, while teachers play the role of supervisor, and tutor more than teacher in the traditional sense.
As the first Curro school to adopt the DigiEd curriculum approach, learners watch instructional videos rather than read purely from textbooks; receive multimedia-based material; and have access to remote tutor assistance via the internet.
Paul talks through the challenges of launching such an ambitious project, particularly during the pandemic, and highlights the group’s online plans for the future.