Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the way we look at education, several innovative approaches have emerged with online schools and hybrid schools becoming effective in delivering high quality education in novel ways.
Wingu Academy and The Angela Academy have partnered up to pilot providing high-tech and internationally recognised education to underprivileged communities in South Africa.
Located in Muizenberg, The Angela Academy aims to address the academic and social needs of the community, with Wingu Academy as the curriculum provider.
Nicole Griffith, founder of The Angela Academy, dreamed of making education accessible to everyone and collaborated with her friend Lindsay Jackson to establish the academy.
The Angela Academy offers a holistic experience for its learners beyond academics, with a focus on encouraging extracurricular activities, problem-solving skills, confidence, and a strong work ethic.
In addition, the academy aims to create an all-inclusive culture where teamwork, trust, respect, and safety are center stage.
The Angela Academy opened its doors on January 16th, 2023, the academy’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is to become self-sufficient and attract social investors to expand and accommodate a stage 8 class annually.
Nicole Griffiths, Founder of the Angela Academy explains the academy plans to stay at its current location in Muizenberg for at least a year, and is seeking sponsorships from corporate partners to expand the model in student numbers and across communities before growing.
“Our team is driven to change the world, one classroom at a time!”
Nicole Griffith believes that running the initiative by implementing a free franchise model with an executive function will ensure its sustainability.
Griffith hopes that The Angela Academy will serve as a blueprint to inspire others to invest in similar initiatives, making a positive impact on children’s lives, wherever they are in South Africa.
Ian Strydom, CEO of Wingu Academy is excited about the partnership and explains that “our long term vision of providing quality education fostering 4IR skills for anyone, anywhere in Africa is being catalysed by this partnership”.
Wingu Academy initially launched as an online school, but has incorporated leading hybrid schooling models that bring the best of both traditional brick-and-mortar schooling and online education into the same space and has successfully piloted their own High-Tech School in Centurion in Gauteng.
Overall, The Angela Academy and Wingu Academy have come together to create an environment that fosters personal and academic growth for students and staff alike.
Griffith hopes that the success of The Angela Academy will serve as an inspiration for other individuals with a similar dream of making education accessible to everyone.
Nicole believes that the academy’s growth and sustainability will pave the way for others to learn from their experiences (which we will happily share) and provide funding for similar initiatives.
With a focus on building a culture of teamwork, trust, and respect, Griffith envisions an all-inclusive environment where everyone feels empowered and supported.
The academy prioritises self-discipline and responsibility, providing personal attention to each child to ensure their academic and personal growth.
We seek to understand the symptoms of behaviour to nuture each student to be their best selves, without compromising on discipline and mutual respect.
Extracurricular activities play a crucial role in the academy’s holistic approach to education, with a focus on problem-solving and building confidence.
Wingu Academy’s platform provides students with greater freedom, choice, and real-life future ready skills.
Local soccer clubs and instructors will be approached to provide additional extracurricular activities for students interested in sports, music, and art.
“What key aspects will ensure growth and sustainability of the Angela Academy?”
The Angela Academy’s free franchise model, with an executive function committed to making it a successful business, aims to ensure its longevity.
With Wingu Academy’s structure and curriculum (and critical support) providing legitimacy to the project, Griffith is confident that The Angela Academy will pave the way for others to follow in its footsteps.
Fundraising will be a top priority for the academy’s growth and sustainability, with a long-term partnership with Wingu Academy.
Griffith hopes that The Angela Academy will inspire others to invest in similar projects that make a positive impact on underprivileged communities.
“Being supported by Wingu Academy who has experience in a blended/hybrid model of delivering education is extremely valuable,” explains Nicole.
Ian unpacks the growth outlook further by explaining that Wingu’s own Centurion Learning Hub and future Smart School in Gauteng is a prime example of how well the marriage between high tech education and a brick-and-mortar school comes together to provide something that is significantly better than the sum of its parts.
“We are working hard to develop school models that are flexible enough and cognisant of different contexts to allow application of our Hybrid School Models in any community – from urban to rural.”
“The partnership between The Angela Academy and Wingu serves to fine-tune our approach this year before we open up to opening further Academy’s from 2024 onwards” says Ian Strydom.
Why did you choose Wingu Academy as a partner considering that there are alternative service providers available?
“I had worked with Wingu Academy on a corporate level, which allowed me to put on my business hat and analyse the company’s structure and culture.”
“I observed that Wingu Academy’s business culture was built on a foundation where students always come first, and every decision was developed with great care and attention to detail.”
“Additionally, I noted that everyone I met on a corporate level at Wingu Academy was highly committed and passionate about their work.”
Griffith appreciates the structure of Wingu Academy and recognised that they had a sustainable business model, which made it the ideal partner for her project.
She is also impressed that Wingu Academy followed the International British Curriculum, which provides students with more options, choices, and application-based learning.
Griffith’s long history in corporate taught her that a business that grows too fast may easily lose control and have holes.
Thus, she is confident in the pace of Wingu Academy’s growth, which is measured and focused, and is convinced that it will continue to deliver quality education for students in the long-term.
The Angela Academy and Wingu Academy’s partnership is paving the way for the Future of Education by delivering hybrid tech-based but in-person education with a vision of re-imagining how education can be done.
The hope is that this initiative breaks barriers of access to future-ready education for students from diverse backgrounds, supporting their seamless transition into their future career choices.