What was your reaction when she opted for Pamoja Online Courses (POC)?
As parents, we were relieved that there was an alternative when it turned out that Amelia’s new school did not offer the subjects she had wanted to study. Admittedly, we were not familiar with Pamoja to begin with, so we had to do our own homework. We needed to ensure that this pathway would provide her the same opportunities as would face-to-face courses in an IB school.
How do you feel she dealt with the online learning experience at the beginning?
In the beginning, Amelia faced a lot of new circumstances: a new country, a new school, new friends, and uncertainty about what courses she would eventually be able to take. Initially, she had to juggle getting used to a new culture, fitting in socially, and organising her time to accommodate POC alongside the fixed timetable at her school. To our surprise, she got a solid handle on it in a matter of weeks, and absolutely loved it.
Did you see any changes in the way Amelia approached her learning throughout the two-year courses?
The changes we observed were immense. We saw a girl who was generally quite stressed turn into someone who made lists, was organised, could juggle different time zones to meet her Pamoja teachers and peers, and became more relaxed overall.
What skills do you think she gained by doing an online course?
The skills that Amelia gained included organisation skills, time management, being able to ‘read’ people in order to work effectively as part of an online group, and most importantly, we feel she learnt to achieve good ‘learning/life balance’.
What impact has her Pamoja experience had on her choice of university and career?
Pamoja enabled Amelia to pursue her dream of studying international business. She studied Business HL with Pamoja as it was not offered at her school. She had a fantastic relationship with her business teacher who was based in China. She chose to do her EE in Business and achieved outstanding results. Had she not been able to study Business with Pamoja, her dream may not have materialised. Today, she is pursuing a degree in international business at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
What would you say to the parents of students who are contemplating taking an online Diploma course with Pamoja?
First, educate yourself about Pamoja, what it offers and the avenues it can open for your child. Work together with the school where your child is enrolled to identify the optimal pathway for them. Initially, check in with your child to see how well they manage independent study. Studying with Pamoja does require discipline, however, we do feel that students at this age appreciate being given more independence and working within a structure that meets their needs. We can only wish that all IB schools would allow students to follow this pathway.