The on-going Covid pandemic has changed the schooling landscape in South Africa completely, especially the traditional schooling environment. With very little notice, parents had to become teachers while still maintaining a full-time job. Learners’ routines were abrupted and remote learning became the “new normal”. This, however, also lead to homeschooling and especially online home schooling, becoming a contending alternative.
Wingu Academy offers a distance, blended learning platform that provides educational support to home-schoolers all over Africa, offering live classes and tutorials along with interactive online content. 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. Not only this, it is a by-product of collaboration between two innovative start-ups, TutCo Tuition and EduWingu Cloud Education Solutions.
Their ever-evolving platform currently provides the internationally recognised British curriculum, but as of 2022 Wingu Academy will extend their high-school offering to include the South African CAPS curriculum. Wingu focuses on student-led learning, utilising gamification and implementing constructive feedback providing a wide variety of choices to support individual learning at home along with alternative options through their tutoring centre.
Mrs Becker who has both her children enrolled at Wingu Academy has the following to say about her experience as a “Wingu Parent” : “Wingu is passionate about learning. They saw what did not work, listened to parents and made the necessary changes. My children are happy. My oldest says, it is so nice to be able to ask a teacher a question when you don’t understand the work. If a student is shy, they have the option of asking in a classroom chat. The teachers don’t mention who asked, so the child is saved the potential embarrassment that would have prevented them asking in a traditional setting. The blended learning approach is fantastic. Teachers are available for consultations if students struggle. Teachers have a consultation session once a week in the afternoons and students can freely ask any questions. The students have experts in their fields as teachers. They hold Honours and Masters degrees. There are even a few PhD candidates among the teachers. The feedback the students get on home work is very valuable. Mistakes become learning opportunities.”
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 Club options to learners varying from fitness to chess to photography clubs and parents have the opportunity to become involved too.
Furthermore, Wingu Academy’s flexible environment also caters for learners who would like to pursue their passions and professional aspirations in sports, music and other extra-curricular activities.
Another “Wingu Parent”, Mrs du Preez says what she appreciates most about Wingu Academy is the positive and respectful attitude of support and patience. “They make the idea of home schooling worth it and a lot easier. If it was not for the Wingu platform, I would not have done it. Even more so with the help of the online coach to get them on track. My daughter had to catch up two terms in one and still managed to do very well.”
Student well-being is at the heart of Wingu’s core foundation. Their Wellness Hub offers professional guidance to both learners and parents in areas of concern.
Wingu’s innovative learning platform equips learners for the 4IR with a forward-thinking strategy of anywhere, anytime, staying connected and offering the future classroom today!