South Africa’s youth unemployment rate stands at a staggering 66.5%. Many view education as a key tool in the battle against unemployment in the country. Of the 7.9 million unemployed individuals, as many as 51.6% had education levels below matric.
In 2022, the University of Cape Town (UCT) launched their Online High School. The institution is now calling on adults who have not obtained a Grade 12 qualification to register for the UCT high's adult matric programme.
Director and principal of UCT Online High School Yandiswa Xhakaza says it was important for them to provide adults with an opportunity to complete their schooling.
They explain that the online nature of the qualification will allow adults who are working to complete their matric at a time that fits in their schedules. This as many of them have jobs and other commitments.
Xhakaza said, “It's important for us to provide the opportunity because it is online and most of these adults are now working in various jobs and they can still manage to do their work without being in a school or being in a physical space due to time constraints”.
UCT Online High School hopes to form partnerships with private companies around South Africa in order to find a solution to fund adults who want to obtain their matric qualification. This could be funding for people working in those companies or by providing scholarships to those who need it.
The school also has a virtual community with support coaches to ensure that learners do not feel isolated on their academic journey.
They have virtual daily check-ins to ensure learners keep pace with the curriculum. Learners can also book sessions with teachers if they do not understand a certain topic and join non-academic clubs according to their interests in this virtual community.