July 22, 2021


by: admin


Tags: education, High, innovative, Online, quality, School, UCTs


Categories: Special needs education

UCT’s on-line highschool: revolutionary, high quality training for all

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

Endorsed by the Western Cape Government, the initiative takes advantage of advances in online teaching and the ability to scale quality education to reach a wide range of learners in different circumstances, Vice Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said at the launch of 21 July.

As such, development will address the challenges of two South Africans: one with resources and advantages, the other underserved and disadvantaged. These disadvantages continue throughout the life of the learner and add to the poverty trap.

Professor Phakeng said that the complex problems facing the education sector require complex solutions.

“We can’t do the same things over and over and expect different results. We have to break through basic education. “

“We can’t do the same things over and over and expect different results. We have to disrupt basic education, ”said Phakeng.

For the 21st century, a new educational model is needed to transform learning ecosystems.

The new school will also benefit from UCT’s experience in moving to virtual platforms and online learning accelerated in educational institutions across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phakeng said the concept had been extensively tested abroad; for example, Stanford University and George Washington University in the United States have successful online high schools.

Two offers, one platform

The online high school has two offerings that both use the same educational platform and opportunities.

The first is UCT Online High School; affordable paid education direct to the learner’s home at a monthly cost of R2 095. (The good news for UCT staff and their children is that they are eligible for a fee reduction, with higher discounts for permanent UCT staff in grade 2 to 6. ) As soon as the online school has reached a critical mass of 10,000 learners, special needs education is planned.

The UCT Online High School offers:

  • Grades 8 to 12
  • A curriculum based on the national curriculum and assessment policy statement (CAPS) with a wide range of subjects
  • 10 subjects in grades 8 and 9, more are added every year
  • 14 subjects in grades 10, 11 and 12, more are added every year
  • Classes will start in 2022. The first grade in grade 12 will be in 2023.

UCT started its first online high school on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Video University of Cape Town South Africa.

The second offering is the Open UCT Online High School, a free online blended learning platform for all teachers and learners in high schools that uses the same platform that the paid learners use. It is run free of charge in micro-schools that are set up in community facilities such as libraries, church halls, and community centers, each with a trained mentor. The mentors will not be teachers: their role is to provide adult supervision, hold learners accountable and keep them informed.

The first micro-school was tested in Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape. In the 2020 school year, learners at the micro-school reached an average of three grade levels in mathematics, science and English.

Since the Western Cape Ministry of Education has agreed to license all content as Open Content, it is freely available to teachers and learners at other schools in the country or on the continent.

“Our goal for the open platform is to be a valuable educational resource for several stakeholders in the sector and to enable others to embed innovative, scalable and high-quality solutions into their education,” said Robert., Chief Executive Officer of the Valenture Institute Koppel . “The users of the open platform have access to all subjects offered by the UCT Online High School.”

The development did not require any capital expenditures from UCT and is carried out under a revenue sharing arrangement, with UCT receiving the greater share of the economic value created. The project was supported by a generous grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Developing the human potential

Phakeng said development is part of UCT’s Vision 2030, which aims to unlock human potential.

“It’s not just about making UCT sustainable, it’s about [about] To give South Africans the tools to develop their own potential … The aim is to change the path of high school education in the country, especially in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] Subjects.

“With few resources, learners fall by the wayside, condemned to a lifelong struggle with no way out of poverty. Unfortunately, the gap between the two South Africa is getting bigger and bigger. “

Out of 100 children enrolled in the current system, only six achieve a bachelor’s degree.

“But the fate of all of us is pieced together. Our future, in many ways, depends on narrowing this gap and educating our people – and especially the youth. “

A first for Africa, UCT Online High School will provide quality high school education to all high school students on the African continent. Video University of Cape Town South Africa.

UCT council chairman Babalwa Ngonyama said the development was the culmination of nine months of intense stakeholder engagement, including the government.

“Our belief in driving excellence is behind this decision. Africa’s high-ranking university is not an ivory tower away from the realities of South Africa. 1997 the World Bank and UNESCO [the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] convene a task force on higher education and declare that higher education is not a luxury for developing countries, it is essential for developing countries. “

“By making excellence accessible to everyone, we make inclusivity practical for everyone.”

She continued, “Excellence in higher education depends on a strong higher education system. In order to excel at UCT and other universities, we need a strong foundation so that our children can find work – even if they are not looking to study. It is not exclusive. By making excellence accessible to everyone, we make inclusivity practical for everyone. It is part of building a fair and just society. “

A key aspect here is the ability to break through gender stereotypes.

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

In addition, UCT Chancellor Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe that COVID-19 has undermined much of the advances made in public schools, especially for young women.

“Inequality is increasing. We need to act quickly to ensure every child’s right to learn… The events of the past week have shown how dissatisfied communities are; This is not a stable path to freedom. Our youth must now be the generation that rebuilds what has been shaken loose in our society and economy. “

Dr. Moloi-Motsepe added: “With the traditional educational model, we cannot build sports schools fast enough to meet the growing educational needs of Africa. We cannot train and recruit teachers fast enough to meet the estimated 350,000 new teachers needed each year to train the youth density on the continent. Even if we could train enough teachers, the best teachers do not tend to continue to live and work in the areas that need them most.

“[But] What if we could provide an alternate blueprint for scaling up quality education on the continent? What if Africa is the continent countries will turn to in the future for inspiration and innovative solutions to difficult problems? “

Their enthusiasm was shared by many UCT staff who attended the virtual introduction. Her comments included “This is a fantastic, hugely powerful solution our country needs!”, “This is transformative!”, “Well done, VC … a timely response to the emancipation and transformation of our environment – Amandla!”, ” Super proud to be part of UCT! ”,“ I can’t wait to see the effects of overcoming structural educational barriers! ”


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