Due to the global pandemic and the subsequent disruptions in the traditional schooling environment, home-schooling, and specifically online schooling, has seen a significant rise. With the concern for their children’s health, coupled with the flexibility and convenience that online homeschooling offers, it has become a viable option for many parents. Wingu Academy arguably has the most advanced distance and blended learning platform in the online space in Africa.
Our platform gives educational support to home-schoolers all over Africa between the ages of 5 – 19 years. Live classes and tutorials are presented along with interactive online content. The platform aims to enrich learners with 4th industrial revolution (4IR) skills such as critical thinking, creativity, complex problem solving and online collaboration. Housed at TuksNovation (University of Pretoria’s High Tech Business Accelerator), it has been developed by teachers, UP alumni, and postgraduate students who are experts in their respective fields with additional collaboration with researchers from the Wits School of Education.
The ever-evolving Wingu platform provides the internationally recognised British curricula and as of January 2022 Wingu Academy will extend their high-school offering to include the South African CAPS curriculum.
Wingu Academy focuses on a blended learning approach that includes asynchronous (self-paced, student-led) and synchronous (interactive live classes) learning, enriched with animations, video content, infographics, gamification and simulations to cater for the major types of learning styles (visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinaesthetic learning styles) and implementing constructive feedback in continuous assessments providing a wide variety of choices to support individual learning at home. The learners are exposed to computation thinking from as early as grade 1, and the coding and robotics courses culminate into industry relevant software development certificates for the high school learners, increasing their employability and readiness for the Future of Work.
The platform is well suited for full-time learners, global citizens that travel frequently, star athletes that need to focus on training but still want an internationally recognised education, and students that would like to obtain entrance to university degrees either locally or abroad.
‘’We decided to homeschool four years ago when we were wanting to relocate. Although we did not relocate we continued with homeschooling because of the freedom it gave us. The cost and distance of “good” private schools were extremely high and exhausting. With homeschooling we didn’t have to leave home early and spend hours in traffic, the money we saved on school fees, travel expenses and uniforms were spent on extracurricular activities and family outings”, says Melissa Dhunraj, a Wingu parent.
Many parents may be worried that their children will miss out on social interaction, but they still get to meet friends and even form study groups as they are not bound by geographical borders. In fact, Wingu also offers a variety of Clubs varying from fitness, chess to photography and parents have the opportunity to become involved too.
“We have been home schooling for a few years and decided to go a more formal route with our children this year. We have been pleasantly surprised with the support and structure that Wingu Academy has offered us, whilst still allowing us the flexibility of being able to travel, to continue our homeschooling friendships and still allow our kids the time to follow their passions. Our children enjoy the social events offered by the school, the staff who make every effort to ensure lessons are fun and interactive, and the new friends that they are making,” says Marlene van der Colf, another happy Wingu Parent.
But what do our students say?
“My favourite part about Wingu is that we can do school anywhere and we don’t have to wear a mask. I like the homework and announcements so I can be ready before class,” says Ariana age 8, Stage 3.
“I enjoy the fact that we can learn online with less pressure and no unnecessary subjects and inapplicable projects. It gives me more flexi time during the day,” says Conrad, age 13, Stage 8.
Student well-being, particularly mental health, is at the heart of Wingu’s core foundation. Our Wellness Hub is expanding to offer professional guidance to both students and parents in areas of concern, as well as leadership initiatives for the learners.
Another addition to the Wingu offering is the establishment of Learning Centres. We have identified that there are certain towns, rural or lower-income areas where there is a need for learning centres. The aim is thus to assist these learning centres with developing and growing their business into small independent schools or becoming registered Cambridge Assessments International Education schools. We do so with a special Incubation Programme which offers business development, management and operational support.
Wingu Academy’s innovative strategy is at the forefront of equipping students for the 4IR with a forward-thinking strategy of anywhere, anytime, staying connected and offering the future classroom today!