UCT is Africa’s first university to launch online high school platform

Admissions for the UCT online high school opened on Wednesday, with classes scheduled to start in January 2022.

UCT online high school. Picture: @UCT_news/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The University of Cape Town has become the first tertiary institution in Africa to offer an Online High School platform.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng made the announcement on Wednesday morning, saying it was a major education milestone for UCT, South Africa and the continent.

Admissions for the UCT online high school opened on Wednesday, with classes scheduled to start in January 2022.

In collaboration with education technology company, Valenture Institute, UCT will be offering online a CAPS-aligned curriculum for learners in grades 8 to 12.

Phakeng said the varsity was extending its expertise into the secondary school sector.

“The most important tool every South African needs is affordable, quality education that will qualify
them for employment or a university degree. This is the only way we can close the inequality gap in
this country. This is a necessity not only for the university sector, but for everybody in the country.”

She said the platform was opened to all those who would be interested from across Africa.

“UCT will continue to be the best university in Africa, and the best university for Africa. But we will now offer a top-level high school education – not just to a select group of learners, but to all high school students on the continent.”

Valenture Institute CEO, Robert Paddock, said the platform would be free forever.

“Our objective for the open platform is that it acts as a valuable educational resource to multiple
stakeholders in the sector, and enables others to embed innovative, scalable, high quality solutions
into their education. The open platform users will have access to all subjects on offer by the UCT
Online High School.”

The UCT Online High School ecosystem includes:

● An entirely free online school platform, with a high-quality, interactive curriculum for any
teacher and learner to use for a broad range of South African CAPS subjects.

● Learners also have the option to attend the most affordable private school in the country
offering a high quality education with support from expert teachers and mentors.

● This ecosystem includes a series of blended learning micro schools for learners who need the
safety of a physical space, as well as access to reliable hardware and internet connection to
complete their studies.

● In the future, it will provide a series of bridging courses, matric rewrite programmes and
alternative university credit programmes to provide South Africans with alternative and
affordable pathways to achieve tertiary awards.

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