Beginning in January 2022, when the University of Cape Town (UCT) launched a new UCT Online High School, innovative, quality high school education will be available to all South African learners. Virtual High School is a partnership with the Valenture Institute, a South African educational technology company specializing in high school education.

The initiative, approved by the Government of the Western Cape, leverages the ability to advance online education and expand quality education to reach a wide range of learners in a variety of situations, Vice President Mamokgethi Phakeng said in July. 21st.

Therefore, this development addresses two South African challenges. One is resource-rich and advantageous, and the other is resource-deficient and disadvantageous. These disadvantages persist throughout the learner’s life and exacerbate the poverty trap.

Professor Faken said that the multifaceted problems facing the education sector require multifaceted solutions.

“You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. You have to confuse basic education.”

“You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. We need to confuse basic education,” said Phakeng.

The 21st century needs new educational models to transform the learning ecosystem.

The new school will also leverage the UCT experience gained from the move to virtual platforms and online learning to accelerate at educational institutions across the country for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phakeng said the concept has been extensively tested abroad. For example, Stanford University and George Washington University in the United States operate successful online high schools.

2 offerings, 1 platform

Online high schools have two services, both utilizing the same educational platform and opportunities.

The first is UCT Online High School. At a monthly cost of R2095, we provide affordable, affordable education directly to learners’ homes. (The good news for UCT staff and their children is that the discount rate for UCT full-time staff in paid class 2 will be higher. 6.) When the online school reaches the critical mass of 10,000 learners, a special needs department Is in the pipeline.

UCT Online High School offers the following:

  • 8th to 12th grade
  • A national curriculum and curriculum in line with the Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), including a wide range of subjects
  • 10 subjects for 8th and 9th grade, added every year
  • 14 subjects for 10th, 11th and 12th grades, added every year
  • Classes will start in 2022. Ingestion of 1st grade and 12th grade will take place in 2023.

The second service is Open UCT Online High School. This is a free online mixed learning platform for all high school teachers and learners, using the same platform used by paid learners. It operates free of charge at microschools located in community facilities such as libraries, church halls, and community centers, each with a trained mentor. Mentors are not teachers. Their role is to provide adult supervision, make learners accountable, and get them on track.

The first microschool was piloted in Mitchells Plain, Western Cape. In 2020, on average, microschool learners jumped to three grade levels: math, science, and English.

The Western Cape Department of Education has agreed to license all content as open content, making it freely available to teachers and learners at other schools in the country or on the continent.

“Our purpose of the open platform is to serve as a valuable educational resource for multiple stakeholders in the sector, enabling others to incorporate innovative, scalable, high-quality solutions into their education. That’s it, “said Robert, Chief Executive Officer of the Venture Institute. paddock. “Open platform users have access to all the courses offered by UCT Online High School.”

Development does not require capital expenditures from UCT, operates according to revenue sharing arrangements, and UCT gains a greater share of the economic value created. This project is supported by a generous grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Unleash human potential

Faken said the development is part of UCT’s Vision 2030, which was designed to unleash human potential.

“This not only makes UCT sustainable, [about] Giving South Africans the tools to unleash their own potential … The purpose is to change the course of high school education in the country, especially in STEM. [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] Subject.

“With poor resources, learners get lost and are blamed for lifelong struggles that have no way out of poverty. Sadly, the gap between the two South Africa is widening.”

For every 100 children who start school with the current system, only 6 get an undergraduate degree.

“Still, the destiny of all of us is tied together. In many ways, our future depends on dividing and narrowing the education of our people, especially young people.”

UCT Council Chair Babalwa Ngonyama said development was the culmination of nine months of intensive stakeholder involvement, including the government.

“Our belief in promoting excellence lies behind this decision. Africa’s top universities are not the unrealistic ivory towers of South Africa. 1997, World Bank and UNESCO [the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] He convened a task force for higher education, stating that higher education is not a luxury for developing countries, but an essential one for developing countries. “

“By making excellence available to everyone, we make inclusiveness practical for everyone.”

She continued. “Higher education excellence depends on a strong higher education system. To achieve excellence at the UCT and other universities, it is a powerful way for children to find a job without a degree. We need a foundation. It’s not exclusive. We make inclusiveness practical by making excellence available to everyone. It builds a just and just society. It’s part of that. “

An important aspect of this is the opportunity to break gender stereotypes.

“We look forward to UCT Online High School to develop future female leaders.”

In addition to this, UCT Prime Minister Dr. Precious Moroi Motosepe said COVID-19 eroded many of the benefits gained in public schools, especially for young women.

“Inequality is growing. We must act swiftly to ensure that all children have the right to learn … Last week’s events showed a level of dissatisfaction among communities. This is not a stable path to freedom. Our youth must now be the generation to rebuild what is swaying in our society and economy. “

Dr. Moloi-Motsepe said: “Traditional educational models cannot be used to build physics schools quickly enough to meet Africa’s growing educational needs. An estimated 350,000 people needed each year to educate the continent’s youth bulge. Teachers cannot be trained and hired fast enough to accommodate new teachers. Even if enough teachers can be trained, the best teachers live in the areas where they are most needed and I don’t tend to keep working.

“”[But] What if we could provide an alternative blueprint for expanding quality education on the continent? What if Africa is the continent that countries will rely on in the future to seek inspiration and innovative solutions to difficult problems? “

Her excitement was repeated by the many UCT staff who participated in the virtual launch. In their comments, “This is a great, very influential solution that our country needs!”, “This is transformative!”, “Well done, VC … ours. Timely Response to Environmental Liberation and Transformation-Amandra! “,” Super-Proud to be part of UCT! “,” Seeing the impact of this destructive structural barrier on education. I can’t wait! “