Local e-education company gets global award

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Some of the Edit Microsystems team at the Frost & Sullivan 2015 Best Practice Awards Banquet.
Some of the Edit Microsystems team at the Frost & Sullivan 2015 Best Practice Awards Banquet.

South African-based supplier of educational and corporate technology solutions, Edit Microsystems, was recently presented with a Frost & Sullivan global award for Best Practices in Customer Service Leadership within the eEducation industry.

The award was presented by Birgitta Cederstrom, Global Commercial Director for GIL, at the Frost & Sullivan 2015 African Best Practices Banquet in Cape Town.

Pieter Labuschagne, MD of Edit Microsystems, says: "We are obviously delighted and proud at being the recipient of such a prestigious award."

The award is presented to a company that shows superior leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the inclusion of technology in the South African educational system is still in its nascent stage. It points out there is an insufficient use of technology in South African schools, particularly in 'special needs' institutions, where 'assistive technology' is highly valued.

In effect, the introduction of technology-driven initiatives can improve the skills of individuals enrolled in 'special needs' education facilities, it adds. Frost & Sullivan notes that the importance of technology, therefore, has to be acknowledged in order to allow the South African educational system to align with international standards and market trends.

Edit Microsystems has several initiatives designed for 'special needs' education. The company was established in 1991 and provides electronic education solutions for government, private schools and special needs schools, as well as corporate solutions for businesses.

Frost & Sullivan says Edit Microsystems' reach in SA is unrivalled, as its products are found in 70% of the 40 000 schools located all across the country.

Among other innovations, the company introduced the Apex BrailleNote to South African schools in January 2013. Apex BrailleNote is an innovative device developed by HumanWare that allows for efficient braille computing.

Users can read textbooks in digital format by using memory sticks and inserting them into the device. They are also able to browse the Internet, gaining access to media all through the device's braille technology.

The company has supplied the device to learners at both Athlone School for the Blind and Pioneer School for the Blind in the Western Cape. The company is in the process of working with the government to supply such products to the blind schools in the rest of SA's provinces.

Edit Microsystems is also the exclusive distributor of Crick Software in SA, which is the developer of innovative practical education software, including the Clicker 6 program used on over half a million computers worldwide.

Through its partnership with DionWired, Edit Microsystems has supplied all the 'special needs' schools that it has worked with through the Clicker 6 program. This program is used with assistive devices, including Smart boards and data projectors, allowing Edit Microsystems to access classrooms remotely and to provide on-demand training and support for the programme.

"At Edit Microsystems, we believe that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of ability or socio-economic circumstance, and to therefore live a life of dignity and self-worth," says Labuschagne.

"In alignment with this belief, Edit Microsystems works closely with government departments, businesses and other leading organisations to implement sustainable corporate social investment projects in mathematics; science; skills development; literacy; special needs and inclusion; substance abuse and teenage pregnancy prevention programmes," he concludes.

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