Advice Column, Education, Parenting, Tween & Teen, Wingu Academy

University of Pretoria alumni innovate during times of crisis to bring a new online schooling platform to South Africa

  • Wingu Academy
  • Category Advice Column, Education, Parenting, Tween & Teen, Wingu Academy

The University of Pretoria (UP) has seen yet another EdTech start-up emerge into the South African market from its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Wingu Academy is a cloud-based platform offering educational support to homeschoolers, schools and tutor centres with an emphasis on quality, affordable education for the African continent. 

Wingu Academy boasts live classes and tutorials, 4IR aligned interactive online content and assistance with remote assessment. Wingu Academy has its head office on the University of Pretoria campus nestled in the TuksNovation accelerator program (UP’s high-tech business incubator and accelerator). 

Since the launch in May this year, Wingu Academy has seen rapid growth, with a vibrant community of schools, parents, tutor centres, students and tutors collaborating to bring a 4IR and social approach to learning. The growth has largely been organic, with word of mouth through digital channels delivering unprecedented interest. Interest has extended beyond South African borders to attract attention from neighbouring African countries including Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini and Zimbabwe, but has reached as far as Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya and even Asian and middle eastern markets with interest from Vietnam and Kuwait. Most families have sought an authentic, affordable and quality home-schooling solution. 

“We joined the Wingu family in June 2020. Being an academic and lecturer myself, I have high expectations of educational content, systems and facilitators or teachers.” Says Isabel, a lecturer at the University of Pretoria. “Our 11-year-old daughter has been homeschooled using the Cambridge curriculum for the past few years due to a health condition. We are truly impressed with the welcoming and supportive online community at Wingu. The exceptional online planform presents our children with the opportunity to engage with high tech education innovation with the personal touch of face to face teaching. The Wingu teaching methodology is in line with 21st-century teaching principles which will prepare our children with critical and independent thinking as well as tech skills for the 4th industrial revolution. The online platform is intuitive and interactive. It encourages children to take responsibility by preparing for lessons in a fun way using simulations and secret missions to solve problems. During face-to-face lessons, our children get the opportunity to engage with the content, a highly qualified facilitator and peers. Consolidation of new content is then done through homework activities and online quizzes. My daughter enjoys every moment at Wingu. Thank you for putting your passions into action and shaping our children’s future!” Says Isabel. 

The platform has been developed by UP alumni and post-graduate students from various backgrounds, teachers and in collaboration with researchers at the Wits School of Education. The focus of the platform is to deliver an international curriculum that is relevant globally. A truly blended approach is followed, with a focus on student-led learning, gamification, instant constructive feedback and alignment to the major international curriculums. The educational approach is at the forefront of the current state of the art.

“Wingu Academy created a quality, safe and efficient learning environment online while maintaining social contact. We have been homeschooling for one and a half years now. Wingu’s system provides face to face contact between educator and child and classmates. In each subject, the student interacts with the educator to clarify content, discuss problems and direct learning. I am a first-time mom of a teenager. But the past month I saw her mood improving and saw her enjoying her schoolwork.” Says Dr. Philips, from the Nelson Mandela University in Port-Elizabeth. 

Learners enrol to experience a platform catering to their needs, with a wide variety of choices to support individual learning at home, or to supplement a program followed at a tutoring centre or school. Ages 5 – 19 are catered for on the platform, and adult learners have shown significant interest. 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. 

The qualifications catered for allow entrance into all major universities globally including Ivy-league and Oxbridge universities. The international external exams are written at examination centres closest to the candidate’s home and are examined by the major UK based examination bodies. 

Enrolments for the international programs are still open, with an academic program that allows students to catch-up any lost work. Candidates transition from other examinations bodies are welcome to apply. 

Enrolments for specially designed programs in response to the COVID-19 disruptions for the current year is still open. Enrolments to start in January 2021 has also opened. There is limited space, so reach out soon. For further information about Wingu Academy, visit their website at www.wingu-academy.com

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