The Sifiso Learning Group seeks to be the leading new-age learning group in Africa, with global reach through the portfolio of brands that it operates.
Sifiso Learning Group (SLG) is an integrated learning group introducing a new teaching and learning model which spans from early childhood development age all the way to tertiary education level. In addition, the group also has publishing, edtech and properties entities.
It’s important for this country to have another model of education from 18 months old right up to tertiary, offering alternatives in terms of how learning and teaching take place. This includes how teaching and learning spaces look, what content is available for consumption in learning and what platforms exist to leverage technology for student-centred learning.
In the context of our country, it’s important to address some of the issues that we face and elevate them, such as African leadership and developing African literature.
The group seeks to be the leading new-age learning group in Africa with global reach through the portfolio of brands that it operates.
The vision of the group is to produce and develop current and future leaders from the African continent at global standards and relevant to the 21st century. SLG, through its Sifiso and Future Nation entities, works to provide education, content, tools and environments for the fulfilment of the potential of future and current African leaders.
u|Chief spoke to Sizwe Nxasana (CA, SA), the Head of Sifiso Learning Group and the Founder of Future Nation Schools.
Why is education so important to you and your wife, Dr Judy Dlamini?
Education is close to our hearts and is something that we have always been involved in because we believe a new way of teaching is required if we are to produce leaders that are fit for an ever-changing and demanding future. Education is also a key ingredient in developing young people for the future and moulding them into innovators and change makers. We want to be part of education to help bring about the change required in the global environment.
Future Nation Schools is part of the SLG portfolio. What is the aim of these schools?
Future Nation Schools aim to create the best learning environment, develop the best teachers and content, and create an entire academic and socio-emotional support structure to give every child who comes through our doors the optimal learning experience, specifically crafted to their individual needs and strengths.
What education model are the Future Nation Schools based on?
Future Nation Schools are characterised by student-centred learning, high academic standards, problem-solving skills, applied research and development, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, and African studies. We do this by delivering a world-class academic programme within the context of an African framework and through a project-based learning
What sets Future Nation Schools apart from the traditional school structure?
The world is changing. We now have access to knowledge about almost everything at the click of a button. Across the globe, education is rapidly evolving to produce students who are not only skilled enough to deal with these changes, but also more innovative and creative in coming up with solutions to our current challenges.
Our model thus aims to give children the best start in life by:
• Employing top academic talent
We plan to ensure that they keep their skills fresh, relevant and up-to-date.
• Promoting diversity
We want teachers who have worked in banks and have built houses; teachers who are writers and artists, because we know that nothing can replace life experience. We believe in diversity in every aspect – from cultures to skill sets to teachers’ unique journeys to becoming educators.
• Promoting continuous learning and access to top content
We are on a learning journey throughout our lives and we want to encourage students to always be aware of their capacity to grow and develop beyond even what we can give them.
• Providing a safe and beautiful learning environment
Schools no longer need to be a place of endless corridors and desks in straight rows. As our way of teaching changes, we want to create spaces that excite children and energise them.
What core values is Future Nation Schools built on?
Its aim is to spearhead the African education revolution by providing a model that is both futuristic, technology-enabled and epitomises excellence in Africa! It is built on the values of diversity, fun, passion, excellence, integrity and respect.
How have parents responded to the Future Nation Schools concept so far?
Parents have accepted and embraced the Future Nation Schools concept enthusiastically. They think that it is refreshing, helps their children develop faster and is exposing them to new ways of learning and understanding the society around them. Parents feel that their children can make a real difference in their lives and society at large, and Future Nation Schools offers exactly what they have been looking for to achieve this.
How does it plan to change or disrupt the current publishing system in South Africa?
Sifiso Publishers also plans to create platforms where content creators can showcase their talent and make it more accessible to larger target markets. More people need to have access and more talent needs to be exposed.
- Sizwe Nxasana, www.futurenationschools.com
EDUCATION THROUGH PUBLISHING
Another arm of SLG is Sifiso Publishers. Sifiso Publishers develops and publishes modern educational and entertainment content based on the principles of Project Based Learning, catering to indigenous languages and speaking for the African continent context. Sifiso Publishers aims to instil and inspire excellence in Africa and ensure access to information in print and digital mediums for academic and non-academic purposes.