Platonic Academy elevates education

When a learner is struggling at Platonic Academy, the teachers go the extra mile by giving individual attention, and learners are also encouraged to work in groups.

16 April 2019 | Education

Michelline Nawatises

Platonic Academy strongly empowers and inspires critical thinking by its learners.

Their services solely focus on the new Namibian junior and senior secondary phase curriculum, which was initially implemented in 2017.

At present the academy accommodates a total of 100 learners, which comprises of grade 8, 9 and 10 Mathematics, Physical Science, Physics and Chemistry secondary school learners.

However, their vision is to develop together with the new curriculum and provide academic solutions.

The learners are from Concordia College, Windhoek High School, Centaurus High School, Delta Secondary School, Jan Möhr Secondary School, Academia Secondary School and Windhoek Technical High School.

There are two tutors. Frank Mungunda has classroom experience of more than five years and is a committed Physical Science and Chemistry teacher who has experience in both the state and private educational sectors.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Geology) and is now in his final year of his Masters of Science (Chemistry) degree at the University of Namibia (Unam).

Amanda Mungunda is a dedicated Mathematics teacher with more than five years of secondary school experience.

She is skilled at communicating complex information in a simple and entertaining manner. She earned a Bachelor of Education (Mathematics and Physical Science) degree from (Unam).

When asked by The Zone what the academy does to prepare students for advancement, Frank mentioned they start every lesson with a prayer and a welcome to create a conductive and interactive environment.

Secondly, they provide summarised notes and work through past exam papers, in order to enhance understanding, and answer questions. Additionally, learners are given worksheets as well as mock exams and feedback, in order to fully prepare them for tests and examinations.

When a learner is struggling the teachers go the extra mile by giving individual attention, and learners are also encouraged to work in groups at the academy, which has proven to be very fruitful. In addition, a teacher-learner WhatsApp group also provides a great platform for the learners to post questions they are struggling with, and the teachers respond accordingly.

When asked what makes the academy different from others, Frank mentioned that they create a conducive environment that brings joy to their teaching.

“We strive to connect the soul to the mind, in order to empower and inspire young minds,” he said.

The academy strives to develop learners' intellectual and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner, by inspiring life-long learning and enabling learners to fully develop their unique capacities.

All in all, the cultivation of imagination and creativity is the central focus.

A learner-centred teaching approach is mainly used at the academy, as they want the learners to understand and not only memorise what is being taught. The only way learners understand a concept is if they are fully involved in the process at all times. For science subjects, Platonic does experiment-based teaching in which the learners conduct a practical experiment in groups with the teacher’s guidance, to learn concepts through sensory perception.

The academy’s teachers are in constant communication with school teachers. Therefore, lessons are prepared based on the syllabus.

Platonic Academy instils the value of responsibility by informing the learners of the importance of taking charge of they own future, as it all depends on the choices they make every day.

You can take a horse to the water, but you cannot force it to drink. However, you can put salt in its hay to make is thirsty.

The teachers strongly believe in the learners’ ability to do well and be the best they can.

The academy uses multiple communication methods for their parent-teacher interactions. This allows parents to hear from the teachers in ways that work for them. Moreover, the parent WhatsApp group is by far the most effective communication tool.

Platonic has a basic set of rules and expectations for the learners. These regulations and a positive mindset help to maintain classroom management and discipline. This enables the academy to engage learners, keeping them prepared and boosting their confidence in terms of meaningful learning.

The learners took the initiative to host an ‘appreciate and gratitude ceremony’ with the help of the academy’s teachers, during which parents were thanked for their devoted support. Each learner also receives an appreciation certificate from the academy.

Fransina Amunyela, a grade 10 learner from Jan Möhr, said that apart from effective learning material, the academy offers efficient teaching methods to help them absorb knowledge better.

“I have seen great progress in my work at school and am proud of the way my grades have improved with the help of Mr and Mrs Mungunda,” she said.

Tashwin Husselmann, another grade 10 learner from Windhoek Technical High School, said: “I get more time to understand my work and the teachers explain everything much better, because they have time to explain the work.”

A parent, Shirley Tibinyane, said she would recommend the academy to anyone.

“They give attention to our kids, not only academically, but spiritually also. They involve all aspects into their curriculum, where they invite motivational speakers to talk to our kids,” she said.

There is a compulsory annual registration fee of N$200. The monthly fee for Grade 8 and 9 learners is N$550 for two subjects (Mathematics and Physical Science) and for Grade 10 learners it is N$650 for three subjects (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry). Each grade group is seen twice a week from 14:30 until 17:00, at Paulinum, Pioneers Park Extension 1 in Erasmus Street.

For more information, parents can visit their website at www.platonicacademy.edu.na or simply reach them via their Facebook page, PLATONIC ACADEMY NAMIBIA or call +264 81 122 5578 (Mr Mungunda).

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