Mokopane Destiny Academy (MDA) will be one of only four schools in South-Africa to offer the internationally acclaimed International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. It is also one of only two of these schools to offer this curriculum at pre-primary and primary level.
Education consultant Elaine Jansen van Rensburg shared the good news with parents at the school’s first parent meeting on Monday. IB is an international educational foundation founded in 1968 and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The curriculum is rated as one of the world’s best schooling systems rivalled only by curricula like Cambridge. It offers four educational programmes, the IB Primary Years Programme ( PYP) for children aged 3 to 12, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) for learners aged 11 to 16 and two official programmes for the seniors - the Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme (for learners aged 16 to 19).
This year MDA only enrolls learners in the Primary Years Programme and the Middle Years Programme. Seniors completing Cambridge and AEE will complete their schooling in these curricula, after which the school will offer IB exclusively.
The school’s founders, Thomas and Minda Marshall spent the latter half of 2018 travelling the globe to find the best solutions to the education challenges facing the world, South-Africa, and Mokopane in particular.
They spoke to experts at Harvard University, Alt-schools in New York and attended the Yidan Prize Summit in Hong Kong where they met higher education minister, Naledi Pandor. “Through all these travels, research and discussions, one thing became clear,” Minda Marshall told parents. “We had to find a radical new way of equipping our children for the future, and while we were looking for the solution, we agreed that we shouldn’t settle for anything but the best.”
She drove home the point quoting recent research by McKinsey & Co. which warns that robots will replace people in about 800 million jobs by the time this year’s grade ones matriculate. “The future job market will demand young people who are creative, who have good interactive people skills, know how to show compassion, are prepared to take risks and can solve problems through critical thinking.”
The only education system that accurately addresses all these challenges and more is IB, added Jansen van Rensburg. She quoted the IB statement that it supports schools and teachers to provide a rigorous, high-quality education, offering professional development that improves pedagogy and leadership. She cited research from leading institutions, which shows that IB students are more likely than their peers to succeed in higher education.
“With 4000 IB schools worldwide, we believe that this is the best education system in the world right now and we are proud to bring it to Mokopane.”