Renowned Mathematician and multi award-winning Educational Content Creator, Mlungisi Nkosi, reflects on his exceptional journey from teaching to establishing a center dedicated to helping students excel in maths and science. When asked about his transition from teacher to center owner, Mlungisi shares, “My journey began on YouTube during the peak of COVID, responding to the increased demand for in-person interaction.
This led to the inception of the centre. However, the dream of having the centre started over 13 years ago when I used to teach in Soweto.” His inspiration to start the centre stems from personal struggles, as he reveals, “After completing my matric. I struggled with maths and science due to a lack of discipline and a specific approach to teaching. I made a conscious decision to rewrite my maths and science exams. This journey led me to excel, earning distinctions in subjects I had previously struggled with, revealing untapped potential.”
Winning Educator of the Year
Winning the Outstanding Educational Influencer award at the AKS Global Teaching Awards in Dubai is a significant achievement for Mlungisi. Reflecting on this recognition, he states, “Winning the award is a remarkable recognition of one’s contributions in the field. Over 13 years as an educator, I worked tirelessly without significant recognition, apart from the impact on students’ lives.” Addressing the challenges students often encounter in maths and science, Mlungisi notes, “The first challenge they face is rooted in our historical background, where, from childhood, the narrative of maths and science being difficult is ingrained.”
Moving to success stories and achievements, Mlungisi enthusiastically shares, “Alright, this is a remarkable story. I have taught learners. And one example is a 35-year-old lady who decided to rewrite maths and science to change her future. Today, she is a successful maths and science teacher in one of the schools in Soweto.” We asked him what sets his centre apart. Mlungisi responds, “The program starts by believing in the person, ensuring they understand and believe in their potential. Building confidence and self-worth is the initial focus, recognising that failure can tarnish confidence and belief.”
Measuring Success Beyond Grades
Delving into his teaching methods, Mlungisi emphasises, “Firstly, I believe everyone can excel in maths and science. This belief informs my teaching approach, starting with fostering belief in the potential of the individuals I teach.” Reflecting on measuring success and future initiatives, Mlungisi states, “If someone walks in having previously failed in Maths. And they not only pass but excel in the subject, the numbers speak for themselves, showcasing success.” Looking ahead, Mlungisi envisions growth for the centre, saying, “The first initiative is introducing robotics and coding to transform the center into a fully-fledged STEM Center, covering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”
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As for advice to parents and students seeking improvement in math and science, Mlungisi advocates for meaningful communication, stating, “The first step is communication—meaningful communication. Understand where your child’s potential and strengths lie.” Regarding advice to parents, he adds, “Parents often hold onto historic views of how the world of work used to be, imposing those views on their children. In today’s world, with unconventional careers like teaching on YouTube, parents need to be more open and receptive to the changes in the world, making adjustments accordingly.”
What Keeps Mlungisi Motivated?
In terms of qualities a successful math and science teacher should possess, Mlungisi concludes, “Firstly, love for people is essential, but secondly, love for the subject and an inquisitive mind. In the realm of maths and science, one is consistently exposed to challenges that require critical thinking. He credits staying updated and networking within the teaching space as key to his continuous learning journey. Mlungisi’s refusal to believe in the impossible and his commitment to positively impact as many lives as possible remain the driving forces in his transformative approach to STEM education. Reflecting on what keeps him motivated, he shares, “What keeps me motivated is a refusal to believe in the impossible. This mindset channels my efforts to give my best and motivate others.” Visit https://mlungisinkosi.co.za/ for more information.