The University of Cape Town (UCT) has announced the launch of a new online high school. This high school will be the first of its kind in Africa.
UCT Vice Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said UCT aims to change the lives of young South Africans through this initiative.
The university has identified that learners have unequal access to education and employment. Phakeng said only 6 out of 100 children who start school will graduate with an undergraduate degree.
Once learners reach university, they often struggle with the transition from high school to university. ,
“At UCT, we see first-hand how matriculants who have received a compromised basic education struggle to catch up in our classes – even with academic support, bridging programmes, extended degree programmes and the like.”
“This is why the University of Cape Town is launching an online high school, with our first intake of learners in January 2022. As the name implies, this is a high school.”
The UCT online high school will not only be open to learners in South Africa, but it will also be open to learners in other parts of the African continent.
Learners can expect to receive "top-level high school education" through the university's new online, blended learning platform. The online high school's curriculum will cover a broad range of South African CAPS subjects.
The university has partnered with the Valenture Institute in order to make the online high school a reality.
Robert Paddock, Valenture Institute CEO said the online high school is an ecosystem that will offer learners support as well as a platform to learn.
"The offering includes; grades 8-12, CAPS-aligned curriculum with a broad range of subjects, 10 subjects in grade 8 and 9, with more being added every year, 14 subjects at grades 10, 11 and 12, with more being added every year."
“The UCT Online High School learning experience has been built on 6 core pillars which include personalised pacing, mastery bases, caring teachers and support coaches, supported self-discipline, the science of online learning and data driven support.” Paddock explained.
The online high school also aims to expand and eventually provide bridging courses, matric rewrite programmes and alternative university credit programmes.