Angela Scherer

A group of private schools Curro Holdings is launching an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform called Century to help improve student performance.

The platform, created in the UK, uses AI to create personalized learning for children.

In an interview with TechCentral Angela Scherer, Curro’s digital transformation manager, said the technology has been tested in schools since last year in grades 8-10, but will soon be introduced in all grades.

Scherer met Century’s decision in 2020 at the British Exhibition of Educational Learning and Technology. Century uses the Cambridge system, which is in line with the national program and evaluation policy – better known as Caps – used in South Africa.

Students enter the program and begin with a diagnostic test that provides a basic understanding of the topics to be covered in a particular subject.

The system then recognizes each student’s weaknesses or gaps in knowledge and recommends content (called “nuggets”) to help the student close the knowledge gap on a particular topic by helping them retain knowledge.

Students can go through the nuggets on their own or with a teacher. Century technology supports data-driven learning practices.

All schools

Teachers can access diagnostic test data stored in the system, and can tailor the curriculum to meet classroom deficiencies. Teachers can also distribute homework and other assessments in the system. “The system is designed to support and accompany teachers and facilitate their work,” Scherer explained.

Curro is experimenting with technology in nine schools. It is used by 131 teachers and 2,500 students with an emphasis in mathematics, English and science. There has been an increase in the efficiency of students where Century technology is used. In Grade 10, the average on test results went from 57.5% to 62.2% after using the technology for two months. “Initial findings show that the technology really works for our students,” Scherer said.

The system will be launched at all Curro schools next year. And although there were no additional costs for parents during the pilot period, Scherer said there may be additional costs once this is introduced in all schools.

“AI can do things much faster and we need to use the power of technology to improve education,” she said. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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