As part of our Impaq Stars series, we chatted to medical student Shingai Mawire to learn more about his learning experience with Impaq and how Impaq has helped set him on the path to success. He also shares his advice for fellow Impaq learners.
Why did you and your parents decide to do home education with Optimi?
We decided to make the switch to homeschooling because of the educational freedom and flexibility it allows. With homeschooling, I could work more quickly through assignments and subjects that I understood and spend more time on challenging subjects, such as Physical Sciences and my favourite subject, Life Sciences.
Optimi Campus Lynnwood offers tutorial classes with facilitators for subjects with which learners might struggle. These classes would function as regular ‘school classes’, adding to the knowledge we had already acquired through self-study (homeschooling). I found these to be a beneficial addition to my learning career.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies you particularly enjoy?
Yes, I have many hobbies! Firstly, I’m a massive football fan. I love watching and playing the sport (I play as central defender). If anyone had asked me at five years old what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, ‘I want to be John Terry or Frank Lampard’.
I also enjoy writing – I am a poet and an author. I wrote multiple poems throughout high school (FET Phase), and I have been writing a book about human behaviour due to the influence of past events. It explains how every human behaviour is a reaction to a person’s childhood and upbringing.
Additionally, I enjoy volunteer work. During high school, I would volunteer at hospitals and old age (retirement) homes, including the Medifrail clinic in Equestria, Kalafong hospital in Pretoria West, and the Louis Trichardt old age home in Danville.
During your learning journey, did you meet other homeschoolers?
Yes, I met a lot of other learners at Optimi Campus. It was easy to ‘click’ with these learners as we shared a similar and quite remarkable journey.
Read more: You’ve got a friend in me
What did you like most about Optimi Campus?
I particularly enjoyed how the Optimi Campus facilitators were always ready to help us during the lockdown. Online classes and Zoom sessions were organised, and these extra resources came in handy. I could email any of the facilitators, and they would organise additional classes where possible. I had more Zoom classes when and where possible with the Life Sciences facilitator in particular. The campus manager was also of enormous help, as she would listen to our concerns.
How has Impaq helped you follow your dreams or career aspirations? Will you be studying at university?
After completing matric, I was accepted into my first year of medical school at Dnipro Medical University in Ukraine in Europe. My course will begin in September this year. I think the most significant way Impaq has helped prepare me for university was how I learned to self-study and got a feel for the lecture structure due to the facilitator classes I attended at Optimi Campus.
Impaq and Optimi Campus also taught me how to be organised (the facilitators would stress the importance of managing our work).
Read more: Teaching kids how to plan
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself as a medical graduate studying further to specialise as a cardiothoracic surgeon. I envision myself being employed by the NHS (National Health Service) in the United Kingdom when I am fully qualified. Additionally, I hope to create a mobile clinic that offers medical advice to lower-income areas for free.
Do you have any tips for other homeschooling learners who would like to follow the same path as you?
Yes: natural talent will help make you a good student but working hard will always take you the extra mile, so I recommend putting in the work! I also recommend homeschooling because the beauty of it is that it allows you to explore what you are really good at and what you love. So, focus on what you love, and you will achieve your goals and dreams!
For more information on Optimi Campus, go to https://optimicampus.co.za/.
By Jacqui Smit