I was walking through our Noordhoek Campus this morning when I saw teacher Jarrett sitting with one of our learners.
Personal Private Education. This is what EduExcellence is about. But what does it take to provide ‘personal’ education?
Although the concept of personal education is straightforward; a teacher meeting a learner at the level that they are at to meet their specific educational needs. The execution of that in a schooling setup requires an extensive support context.
The first challenge to overcome is to find a working financial model that balances the financial requirements of running a sustainable school with the personal needs of the learners. EduExcellence has settled on a maximum ration of 12 learners per teacher in our Schools stream and 8 learners in our EduSkills stream.
Then we have to appoint leadership staff, principals, that align with our philosophy of personal education. Personal education requires them to manage their campus in a manner that might, on the surface, not appear to be the most efficient. For example, the appointment of teacher assistants or rotating specialist staff that create the extra eyes, ears and hands to either allow the class teacher to focus on a specific child’s needs or for them to step in to give individual attention to a child.
Personal attention also means creating the physical space within school setup to maximise the personal interaction. This might mean counselling rooms instead of classrooms or comfortable nature spots that promote a sense of attachment and community.
Our teaching staff need to be trained and equipped to understand what differentiation means for each learner. They do not have the luxury of just preparing and delivering a ‘one size fits all’ lecture to her class. It means that he will have to give of himself, personally, to meet the learner personally. It requires all our staff teachers, administrators and support staff to pay attention. To truly see what is happening in the classroom, the playing field and dining areas.
Finally, it requires the school owners to sacrifice profitability (20 kids in a classroom is almost 45% more profitable than 12 let alone 8!) for effective education that truly helps each child. This in turns means that school owners need to believe in personal education. They need to have faith; faith in the long-term value of personal education for our learners. We need to believe that when our learners thrive, we all thrive. Just you wait and see.