Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
2 minute read
22 Jul 2021
12:55 pm

UCT launches the first online high school in Africa

Karabo Mokoena

With intake starting in January 2022, UCT has become the first university on the African content to launch an online high school.

UCT launches an online high school which is a first on the African continent. Picture: iStock

The global Covid-19 pandemic has taken many lives but has also exposed the many cracks that exist in the country’s education system.

Families with access were able to opt for homeschooling, while this option was not available for many other children in the country. This has created a disadvantage for some, with children struggling to learn and harness their potential. 

As part of its 2030 vision, the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Wednesday launched an online high school for grades 8-12.

According to UCT’s vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng: “The University of Cape Town is committed to playing our part in addressing the systemic challenges facing our education system.”

“The most important tool every South African needs is an affordable, quality education that will qualify them for employment or a university degree,” Phakeng added. 

The UCT Online High School is one of the most affordable private schools in SA, offering studies at a monthly fee of R2,095. 

Admissions for the UCT Online High School opened on 21 July 2021, with classes due to commence in January 2022. Pupils will be able to enrol at any time, from wherever they are in the world. 

Online and hybrid learning has become the future of learning globally, where Covid-19 has made it mandatory for institutions to become innovative. 

UCT has partnered with a Cape Town-based education technology company, Valenture Institute, to deliver the UCT Online High School.

Robert Paddock, CEO of Valenture Institute believes that “innovation is a culture, and brick and mortar schools have not yet inculcated the culture of innovation”.

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Valenture’s “proprietary learning technology, analytics, and learner support model are at the forefront of online and blended learning“.

“We’re delighted and humbled to partner with UCT on this ground-breaking initiative,” said Paddock.

Pupils can benefit from the UCT Online High School’s supported self-discipline model, which allows pupils to pace their own learning and get high-quality one-on-one tutoring from expert teachers and support coaches whenever they need it. 

Pupils will also be prepared with a unique range of university- and career-preparation services and offerings.

Additionally, the entire curriculum will be made available for free in an interactive online platform called the Open UCT Online High School.