Education is undoubtedly a valuable factor in one’s life, however, it is not a one-size fits all concept. Every child is unique and may be more receptive to different learning methods. Given the way traditional schooling is structured, there are limitations. With the traditional education system’s standardized and lecture-based approach, deeper learning is often not encouraged in the classroom. It can also be observed that there is a gap when it comes to accommodating different kinds of learners, such as students who may have learning challenges, those who don’t feel comfortable or safe in that environment, learners who want to pursue passions in other areas of their lives, or those who just prefer to have more flexibility in their lives while getting a good quality education.
How Wingu Academy Started
Wingu Academy is an online remote-learning platform that offers educational support to schools, tutoring centres and homeschoolers all over Africa. It was 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.
Internationally Recognized Curriculum
Wingu Academy provides the internationally recognized British curriculum to home-schooled students, to assist them in their educational journey. The British Curriculum encourages students to think critically and independently. This curriculum provides students with the opportunity to apply at any tertiary level in South Africa or globally. 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.
Interactive Blended Learning Platform
Wingu Academy has an advanced blended learning platform that accommodates different types of learners by incorporating a vast range of blended teaching methods. This enables students to learn in the best way possible for them, be it auditory, visual, kinesthetic, by reading or writing. The platform focuses on employing teaching strategies that enable deeper learning, challenges learners to think critically and creatively, as well as expose students to a range of 4IR aligned technological tools and skills. Wingu inspires their students to think creatively and innovatively, as innovation is at the heart of what they do.
Technology can be a brilliant way through which to encourage deeper learning in students of all ages. By using computer programs such as spreadsheet software to handle complex data, or collaborative cloud computing tools such as shared drives and cloud based software (Google docs, Google slides), students are encouraged to effectively communicate and collaborate, whilst developing research and critical thinking skills. At Wingu, interactive games, quizzes and simulations are used to guide self-directed learning, where incentives such as badges or a gamified leaderboard encourages students to attain academic mastery of subject topics. Students have the opportunity to develop a range of 4IR competencies, through the Kukua programme which offer subjects like Coding, Web Development and Robotics. This develops skills that are crucial and will be relevant in the work-place of the future.
Structure and Self-Paced Learning
One major benefit of homeschooling is being able to structure your learning journey the way you want to. Although this is a wonderful perk, sometimes parents or caregivers struggle with managing the workload as life can get in the way sometimes and they would like their child to have a sense of structure, but still have flexibility. At Wingu Academy, all the live classes are recorded, the platform is also suited to full-time learners, those who travel frequently, athletes who need to focus on training and for any child who wants a good quality education.
A fear of many parents who consider homeschooling is that their children will not develop social skills or have no friends. However, due to the flexibility of homeschooling, students often have more time to engage in social extracurricular activities or community initiatives – such as joining a sports club, or volunteering at a local shelter – where they can still make friends and interact with peers. With Wingu Academy, the shift from parent-led to facilitator-led education means there is an even greater opportunity to interact socially. In an online school environment – which essentially emulates some elements of a traditional school environment, such as live classes – students continually interact with classmates and tutors. Students are placed in “houses” which enable social interaction during online social events such as bake-offs, culinary challenges, paint-alongs and more. Wingu Fitness Club and Wingu Wellness Hub contribute to the health and wellbeing of students.
Although home-schooling has its pros, sometimes one of the major cons is when parents are not exactly sure how to guide their kids academically, perhaps because they had never done that specific subject in school or maybe they did it so long ago that they can’t remember, or maybe, they are just really busy to relearn the content to teach it to their kids. Wingu Academy provides the curriculum to students, thereby taking care of the educational aspect. Additional academic support is also offered in the form of tutors and learning coaches.
Safe Schooling Environment
Students who struggle with anxiety, social anxiety or depression, or who were victims of bullying in a traditional school context can study from the comfort and safety of their own homes with Wingu Academy. Students have the opportunity to focus on their mental and emotional wellbeing. In small amounts, stress can be good, but the incredible pressure that is placed on students to perform academically – or that they often place on themselves – can become debilitating.
“At Wingu Academy we follow a zero-tolerance policy against any form of bullying. We follow a holistic approach of creating a culture of inclusivity, high moral values and respecting your fellow students,” says Managing Director Ian Strydom.
To find out more about Wingu Academy’s offering and blended learning platform, visit Home – Wingu Academy (wingu-academy.com).
This post has been sponsored by Wingu Academy.