Published on Yiba on 4 August 2020

The University of Pretoria (UP) has seen another edtech start-up emerge out of its TuksNovation programme, the institution’s high-tech incubator and accelerator. Wingu Academy is a remote-learning platform that offers educational support to schools, tutoring centres and homeschoolers all over Africa, with live classes and tutorials, interactive online content that is aligned with the fourth industrial revolution, and continuous assessment.

Developed by teachers, UP alumni and postgraduate students who hold advanced degrees in respective fields, and in collaboration with researchers at the Wits School of Education, Wingu offers an international curriculum that is relevant globally but contextualised for the African continent. There is a focus on student-led learning, gamification, instant constructive feedback and alignment to major international curriculums.

The academy caters to learners between the ages of five and 19, who have a wide variety of choices to support individual learning at home, or to supplement a programme followed at a tutoring centre or school. Adult learners have also shown significant interest.

“This exceptional online platform presents children with the opportunity to engage with high-tech education innovation with the personal touch of face-to-face teaching,” says Isabel Schimper, a lecturer in Speech-language Pathology and Audiology at UP. “We joined the Wingu family in June 2020. As an academic and a lecturer, I have high expectations of educational content, systems and facilitators or teachers. Our 11-year-old daughter has been homeschooled using the Cambridge curriculum for the past few years due to a health condition. We are truly impressed with the welcoming and supportive online community at Wingu.”

This latest edtech platform is the result of a collaboration between TutCo Tuition and EduWingu Cloud Education Solutions, both start-ups in the TuksNovation programme. TutCo Tuition emerged in response to the academic needs of students of the 2016 #FeesMustFall movement; fittingly, EduWingu arose in response to another crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wingu Academy is suited to full-time learners, those who travel frequently, athletes who need to focus on training but want an internationally recognised education, and prepares learners for a university education. Qualifications obtained through Wingu allow for entrance into major international tertiary institutions, including Ivy League and Oxbridge universities. International external exams are written at centres closest to the candidate’s home and are overseen by UK-based examination bodies.

Since its soft launch in May this year, the academy has seen rapid market adoption, with a vibrant community of schools, parents, students and tutors collaborating. The growth has largely been organic, with word of mouth through digital channels delivering unprecedented interest beyond South African borders. Neighbouring African countries including Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini and Zimbabwe have expressed interest, as have countries further afield, such as Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya. The furthest reaches to date include Vietnam and Kuwait. 

“The Wingu teaching methodology is in line with 21st-century teaching principles, which will equip our children with critical and independent thinking, as well as tech skills for the fourth industrial revolution,” says Schimper. The platform is intuitive and interactive, and encourages children to take responsibility by preparing for lessons in a fun way using simulations and secret missions to solve problems. During face-to-face lessons, they get the opportunity to engage with the content, a highly qualified facilitator and peers. Consolidation of new content is then done through homework activities and online quizzes. My daughter enjoys every moment at Wingu.”

“Wingu Academy has created a safe, efficient, quality learning environment online while maintaining face-to-face contact between the educator and child,” says Dr Maria Phillips of Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. “In each subject, the student interacts with the educator to clarify content, discuss problems and direct learning. In the past month I have seen my teenage daughter’s mood improving and have noticed how much she is enjoying her schoolwork.”

Registration

Enrolments for international programmes are still open and include a course that allows students to catch up. Candidates transitioning from other local examination bodies are welcome to apply.

Registration for specially designed programmes in response to COVID-19 disruptions for the current year are also still open. Applications for January 2021 have also opened. There is limited space, so reach out soon.

For more information about Wingu Academy, go to www.wingu-academy.com

Choosing a curriculum

Choosing the correct curriculum for a student is crucial as it shapes their educational experience, aligns with their learning style, and prepares them for future academic and career opportunities. The British International Curriculum emphasizes flexibility, critical thinking, and a global perspective, offering various pathways like the IGCSE and A-levels. In contrast, the South African CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) is more prescriptive, focusing on a standardized approach with a strong emphasis on local context and practical skills development.

Early Years

Designed for 5 to 6-year-olds

The British International Early Years program initiates an engaging educational path for learners. it establishes a robust foundation at the start of their academic careers, preparing them to advance to subsequent international phases.

Lower Primary

Designed for children aged 7 to 9

The British International Primary program initiates an engaging educational path for learners. it establishes a solid base at the start of their educational journey, setting the stage for their advancement into subsequent international phases.

Upper Primary

Designed for 10 to 12 year old's

The British International Upper Primary program initiates an engaging educational path for learners. it establishes a robust foundation for students at the intermediate stage of their education, preparing them for the subsequent international phase.

Lower Secondary

Designed for 13 to 15-year-olds

The British International Lower Secondary program initiates an engaging educational path for learners. it lays a solid groundwork for students in the senior phase of their education, preparing them for the subsequent iGCSE level.
 

iGCSE

Designed for 16 to 17-year-olds

The British International GCSE program propels learners forward on an engaging educational path. it lays a solid groundwork for students progressing to advanced international levels.

AS/A Levels

Designed for 18 to 19-year-olds

The British International AS level program propels learners forward on a dynamic educational path. it offers a concluding year (12th grade) before progressing to tertiary education. The British International A level program, an additional year (13th grade) of schooling, equips students with a competitive edge for entering demanding university programs.
 

Grade 10-12

Designed for students aged 16 to 19

The National Senior Certificate (CAPS) program serves as South Africa's curriculum for Grades 10 through 12. it offers the concluding three-year phase of secondary education prior to pursuing higher education.

Wingu Academy's Hybrid Schooling Option

At Wingu Academy, we provide diverse schooling options tailored to your needs. Our hybrid schooling option, available in Centurion (Gauteng) and the Southern Suburbs (Western Cape), combines the flexibility of online education with the stability of a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

Wingu Southern Suburbs Campus

24 Cornwall Street, Lakeside, Muizenberg