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Conversation with Ayanda Booi, a young Enko recruit with grit, heart & art

As part of its social responsibility policy, Enko funds the tuition fees of a number of deserving students in each of its schools. Last November Enko organised a selection session with World Vision, an NPO that works with communities to improve children’s well-being. They were helped by Ayanda Booi, a youngster who has created an NPO to help young people in the township through performing arts workshops. The selected students visited Enko Ferndale on the 9th of March, to get an impression of their future school. We asked Ayanda, who has now joined Enko headquarters, to tell us more about his career, his commitment to the Orange Farm Township youth, and the Enko project.

Can you tell us about where you come from and what you did in Orange Farm?

I originally come from Soweto, but I moved to Orange Farm years ago. Orange Farm is a township south of Soweto, on the road to Bloemfontein. I created my NPO because a lot of youngsters did not do anything after school, there were no facilities where they could be taken care of, so they hung around, and some of them ended up in gangs. In Orange Farm, there is this big issue of Initiation Schools, where kids are abducted at a very young age from their parents who are then asked to pay tuition for initiation school. But these illegal schools are the pathway to gangsterism. I wanted to offer an alternative. As I have always been passionate about performing arts, I started an organisation in 2015. I thought teaching performing arts to them would also allow them to develop their life skills. We had workshops where we would study dance, music, poetry, drama. The big challenge was to find spaces where we could gather and practice. We often practised in dumping spaces, as there were no other places we could meet. As of January 2017, we had 84 kids aged from 6 to 18 years old in our organization, at three main locations. As performing arts are not very popular with boys, I had mainly girls. Boys in the townships are more interested in football… Over the two years we have been operating, I have been developing partnerships and joint events with other NPOs to give a chance to my kids to perform in front of audiences. That is how I met with the people of World Vision.

How did you hear about Enko?

The people from World Vision told me about the Enko selection tests for scholarships to Enko Ferndale, for students in grade 7/8/9. I looked at the prerequisites, asked my kids for their (grade) reports and I sent the pupils that could qualify. I had ten kids, but two of them had parents who would not let them try the test. So, World Vision helped me organize transport for eight kids to where the examinations were held. I guess Enko did not realise how attractive their offer was. There were 135 kids attending the session! The test consisted of written tests in English, science and mathematics. Pupils who achieved high scores in these tests had an interview with an Enko representative. As I had helped with the process, I was asked to come and help them to finalize the selection. 15 kids were selected and awarded a scholarship to attend Enko Ferndale. I had to go to the families, explain to them how it would work and then interview them and send the report back to Enko. I act as the “liaison officer” with the families.

Tell me about the event on 9 March?

The event theme was “unlocking your potential”. It was a pre-orientation day at Enko Ferndale. It was difficult for them to realise that they will be only starting in September. We took them to visit the school. They were able to see how it looks like. They had a lesson there. They even got to learn some French which they repeated enthusiastically! They came to the headquarters afterwards . They met Enko’s heads of school and staff. They had career talks with young professionals. They quite enjoyed their day!

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#beingateacher The trajectory of Kukua Frempong from Enko Nyamunda School in Maputo

Interview with Kukua Frempong teacher and International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Enko Nyamunda Maputo

Ghanaian born, Kukua Frempong had been teaching the Cambridge Curriculum in Maputo for six years when she joined Enko last year at the very opening of the school at Maputo. She tells us about her professional trajectory, her commitment with education and working at Enko.

Can you tell us about your story, what brought you to education ?

I did not feel an early calling to education although some members of my family were deeply involved in education as teachers or lecturers. My mum was a professional teacher and taught Home Economics for about 30 years, my dad was a medical doctor but also spent part of his time lecturing in some medical schools and universities My sister who lived in the UK at the time I was getting into University advised that I add education to my course choice because professional teachers earned good money there so I followed her advice. Education then became more of a passion and was reinforced after my undergrad. Positive comments on my skills as a teacher from my students and supervisors motivated me to stay in the field. The more I heard the comments the more I believed that It was a gift from God that I needed to nurture. One day, I told my mum and aunt (who had visited shortly) how my Teaching Practice Supervisors (both Lecturers in the Sciences) sat in my Economics lesson and afterwards commented on how enjoyable and understandable my class had been. They both replied : “You are a teacher”.

That’s for the vocation. As for practice, I have met awesome teachers who made me excel even when I thought I couldn’t and I have equally met other teachers who deflate you and discourage you. So, as I went up the ladder I told myself that I would be the type that helps students excel and believe that they can do it. I think this has made a great difference in many of my students’ability to do well.

Can you share a story of a teacher/professor you admire?

I met quite a few, including my parents. I have two stories that I would want to share. The first is my aunt’s, Mrs. Georgina Baiden. She is an amazing teacher. She has worked as a teacher for over 50 years and rose through the ranks to become the first lady president of the Ghana National Association of teachers in the early 90’s! She currently owns one of the best private schools in Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana. The second story is my Mathematics teacher in high school, Mr. Emmanuel Sam. He always made excruciating topics understandable and I am striving to teach like him. He used different approaches to make sure difficult topics were broken down for students to grasp. I find myself doing same for my students every time!

Why did you choose to work with Enko in Mozambique?

There are several reasons I felt really compelled to the project. I was already working in Mozambique, in a privately owned Cambridge curriculum based school in Maputo. As you know the Education sector in Mozambique is basically now developing after the long period of recovery following the civil war (1976-1992). Government has provided public education but of low quality, the private sector is working along side but with their aim being more of business than education. This makes an Enko school with it’s spelt out aims of quality international education at affordable prices very relevant.
They provided the curriculum I looked forward to teaching. The IB Diploma Program is more than just being “bookish”. It is not solely based on academic excellency that requests learning concepts and reproducing them. It also develops the learner in different ways. I was looking for for a school that stood for wholesome education of its learners and offers the IBDP to teach in and I was introduced to Enko.

What were the highlights of your first year with Enko?

Start up year was great, we achieved a lot. Our head of school Keith Allen, is a good and charismatic team leader and the fact that he is an optimistic drives all of us on. That to me is inspiring! He successfully led us to get IB authorization in the first year of the school’s establishment, which is exceptional. That was very hard, and the team had to undergo loads of work. It was pretty tough. But under his leadership we worked tirelessly to meet all the demands of the IB in such a short time frame.
On another level, I was also very pleased by satisfactory remarks by parents who saw a change in their children’s study attitudes and general behaviour.

Click here to know more about Enko Nyamunda school in Maputo

Welcome to Enko Ferndale!

The inauguration of Enko Ferndale, the newest school in the Enko Education family that already offers a high-quality international education to students in four sub-Saharan African countries, took place on Thursday.


“Support for education is a key priority for France”

Charlotte Montel, Principal Advisor to the French Embassy in South Africa, took the floor to welcome the establishment of this first Enko school offering the International Baccalaureate in Johannesburg. She also spoke about France’s commitment to the development of education in Africa, and thus to the Enko project.

This commitment was also demonstrated by the presence of Proparco, the private sector finance subsidiary of the French development agency AFD, which has been an investor in Enko Education since August of this year.


“Offering African students the opportunity to obtain the most sought-after high school diploma by admissions managers at the major international universities”

Cyrille Nkontchou, co-founder of Enko Education with Eric Pignot, spoke about the beginnings of their entrepreneurial venture, which came into being just two years ago with the acquisition of the Amazing Grace school in Johannesburg. Enko Education has now expanded into three other countries on the continent: Cameroon (Cyrille Nkontchou’s native country), Ivory Coast and Mozambique. 2017 will see the opening of two new schools, in Ferndale and Mozambique A greater percentage of students in Africa than in other continents aspire to a higher education in foreign universities. Enko Education was established to meet the needs of these young people. 6% of secondary school students want to study in another continent. High school diplomas or certificates from African countries are not always recognised by foreign universities, however. The most prestigious universities acknowledge the under-representation of African students, and often seek to remedy this shortcoming.


“We are doing nothing less than changing the world!” .

Nowvuyo Mzamane, the enthusiastic Academic Director of the Enko Education schools was proud to share the experiences of Enko students, which highlight the rich educational environment offered by our programmes (see our interview with Adzo Ashie, Regional Development Manager IB for Africa, which you can read on the blog). She spoke about three students, among the first to attend Enko schools, who have already been offered conditional places at prestigious universities in the United Kingdom and Australia; some have also been offered scholarships to finance their studies. She then presented Enko Ferndale, which will open its doors on 18 January of next year, initially offering a Cambridge IGCSE programme for grades 8, 9 and 10, followed by the IB Diploma programme for grades 11 and 12 starting in 2018. She specified that it will also be possible for students from northern hemisphere countries (who therefore finish their school year in June) to start in September.


From the very start of their venture, the founders’ main priority has been to offer the best international education at affordable prices. School fees are on average five times less than in schools offering the IB curriculum throughout the rest of the world. However, aware that these fees are still high for African families, Enko Education has also undertaken to take between 10% and 20% of students on scholarships, in each of its schools.