Student-empowerment company Presto Academy today announces the launch of four new Matric Study Guides on Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting, which can be accessed on its website www.prestoacademy.co.za.
Presto Academy is a student-run educational resource provider that produces study guides written by top South African students for fellow students. Co-founders Shivad Singh and Fuaad Coovadia, both current students of the University of Cape Town, use fellow students to develop the content that is tailored around understanding the issues that students face when learning certain topics. Its student-authors are selected only from among an elite group achieving matric pass rates of 90-100%. Alongside these top students, Presto Academy commissions top young designers, editors and teachers who all equally understand the issues students face, in order to create content that adds value to students.
“We empower the best students in the country to share their knowledge with others. Our model is about students empowering other students. Presto is not a company that merely provides high-quality study guides: Presto is like one of your friends at your elbow while you’re studying, but one who’s passed these exams with top honours,” say Coovadia and Singh.
They started with this model when they realised they could provide unique insights into the University courses that they had completed, and therefore began writing guides for these subjects. “We spent our holidays writing the guides. After studying the publishing industry, we decided to self-publish through Presto Academy. Our guides were a huge success – we sold out our economics guides in just three days at the University of Cape Town.”
After this initial success, they won a Pitching Competition and received capital funding from the University of Stellenbosch. Then they began thinking even bigger, by taking their successful university model and applying it to the much larger high schools market. To reach as many students as possible, they put all the content online.
It is at heart a social entrepreneurship initiative. For this reason, Realogile High School was selected for the launch of the new study guides. “We set up the business, firstly to empower other students, and secondly that for each book bought we donate one book to a school in need. Today’s launch therefore sees Realogile High School added to our list of beneficiary schools. This will entail the school receiving Presto Academy’s premium matric study guides for Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting for free,” say Coovadia and Singh.