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UCT launching Online High School with first intake slated for January 2022

Earlier this week the University of Cape Town teased an impending announcement that it said would be, “a major education milestone”. During a media briefing held this morning, the institution officially unveiled the UCT Online High School.

The new initiative forms part of UCT’s Vision 2030 initiative, with the past 18 months under the pandemic also proving a significant influence. Over the past two years we have seen just how wide the digital divide is in the country and in particular how those without access to technology and connectivity are being left behind.

“UCT’s Vision 2030 is not just about making UCT sustainable in our changing world. It is also about giving South Africans the tools to unleash their own potential to help create a fair and just society,” noted VC, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, noted during the briefing

With that in mind, the UCT Online High School is aiming to address the imbalance, but it remains to be seen how it will address the myriad hurdles that face disadvantaged learners in the country.

“The problems facing the education sector are multifaceted, so we need multifaceted solutions. What’s abundantly clear is that we can’t keep doing the same things, over and over, and expect different results. We need to disrupt basic education,” explained Phakeng.

“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,” she added.

As the insitution unpacked during the briefing, the Online High School is an ecosystem for learners and will feature the following elements:

The first intake of students will take place in January 2022, from grades 8 to 12. It is, however, important to note that Matric will only be offered from 2023.

The Online High School will also offer the following to learners:

It remains to be seen what the interest in such an offering will be, as well as how effectively it will be run, given the struggles that distance learning institution Unisa has had both during and before the pandemic. Also of interest is whether other tertiary institutions will follow UCT’s lead and announce online High Schools of their own.

For now, those interested in the UCT Online High School can find more information and an application portal here.

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