Social Entrepreneur Zakheni Ngubo, providing a learning opportunity for high school students.
During a sit down session at The Innovation Hub, I got to have a lovely chat with Johannesburg (South Africa) based social entrepreneur Zakheni Ngubo. He is the Senior MANAGING Partner at Syafunda, which means ‘we are learning’. Syafunda is an e-learning platform that is focused on providing a digital curriculum and virtual classroom for Maths and Science students. Zakheni takes Nunnovation on his trail of thoughts as he recalls how for three years of his high school life, he had no maths teacher due to the lack of resources, which later reflected in his marks. Zakheni passed matric with four distinctions, yet failed Mathematics. Twelve years down the line, the mishap he faced then, he has turned into a victory, and hopes that no child will ever have to go through the struggles he encountered.
Today, Zakheni develops localized digital content for high school learners. Zakheni speaks about this venture with a smile as he recalls how far he has come. “We started with nothing in our pockets. I was just blessed enough to find a team that was selfless and driven, who, for a long period of time, worked without receiving any income”, says Zakheni.
This digital platform company, not only provides learning material to students, but also serves as a platform where corporates and these students engage. Students’ information is stored on these platforms, and corporates can then go through these profiles, SELECTING students for various bursaries.
Zakheni has been traveling around Africa, trying to FORM partnerships with various institutions. University of the Witwatersrand has come on board; Pearson Publishers, RedBull Amaphiko as well as Maths Centre have also joined Syafunda. “The politics in Education are too many; people are territorial when coming to this field. They always want to stick to what they know”, says Zakheni with frustration. As he goes on to express his gratitude to these partners of Syafunda.
We may soon be hearing of Syafunda sealing a deal in Nigeria as CURRENTLY, tests are being run there too. Botswana and Swaziland may also be well in line.
While some people may be wondering how much it costs to access Syafunda, the ANSWER is, it’s free. Once a local server has been set up, you can access it from any network.
Speaking to Zakheni was insightful as we wait to see new innovative ways that will CHANGE the education sphere.