Allison Philander

ACP Project Management and Publishing Services

What does your company do?

Since ACP Project Consultant's inception in 2015, we have been actively shaping the publishing landscape, particularly in the field of education and social justice. Our work has focused on highlighting issues such as the socioeconomic disparities that still exist in South Africa and the educational challenges that persist even today. Since 2015, ACP Project Management and Publishing Services has collaborated with project sponsors, such as Sasol, MTN, and ABSA, to develop high-quality textbooks that are available to schools free of charge. These textbooks are developed in collaboration with Subject Matter Experts from the Department of Education and project sponsors. Projects that we have worked on and managed include Natural Science and Technology Grade 7 – 9 Learner’s Books and Teacher’s Guides (plus Afrikaans translations), Foundation Phase Mathematics (that will be available in all eleven official languages in 2024), Business Studies Grade 10 – 12 (plus Afrikaans translations), Technical Mathematics Grade 11 – 12 (plus Afrikaans translations) and Technical Science Grade 11 – 12 (plus Afrikaans translations).

What is your biggest success?

We have developed, edited, typeset, sourced drawn artwork and photos, proofread and translated over 285 titles in partnership with the Sasol Foundation, and we have edited, typeset, sourced drawn artwork and photos, proofread and translated over 36 titles in partnership with MTN and ABSA since 2015. We are currently working in partnership with the Sasol Foundation and the Kagiso Trust to complete 106 Learner’s Books and Teacher’s Guides for all Occupational and Vocational subjects for the Mechanical Technology and Civil Technology streams for Grades 8 and 9 and Years 1 – 4. The Learner’s Books and Teacher’s Guides we have published are accessible (free of charge) to all learners and teachers nationally. They can be downloaded from the Department of Education website: https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/LearningandTeachingSupportMaterials(LTSM)/DigitalContent.aspx

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle was when we had to translate our Foundation Phase Mathematics textbooks into all South African languages. This task was monumental due to the sheer linguistic diversity of the country, which boasts 11 official languages. Each translation required linguistic accuracy and cultural sensitivity to ensure the mathematical concepts were accessible and relevant to learners from various provinces. The process involved extensive collaboration with language experts, SMEs at the DBE, and native speakers to capture each language's nuances and pedagogical subtleties. Additionally, we had to consider regional dialects and variations, adding another complexity layer. Ensuring that the quality and consistency of the educational content remained high across all translations was a significant challenge. Despite these challenges, the successful translation of our textbooks has greatly contributed to making quality education more inclusive and accessible to all young learners in South Africa.