University of Cape Town launches online high school

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has launched a university-based online high school in partnership with the Valenture Institute.

The Valenture Institute is an education technology company that has developed its own proprietary online model.

It was founded in 2019 by Rob Paddock, the creator of the short course platform GetSmarter. Its mission is to create aspirational learning opportunities for high school students.

UCT said the online high school ecosystem was designed to service South African learners from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Rob Paddock
Rob Paddock

It offers a CAPS-aligned curriculum and enables learners in grades 8 to 12 across the world the opportunity to study at a monthly fee of R2,095.

CAPS, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, is a revision of the previous National Curriculum Statement (NCS).

The UCT Online High School Admissions opened on Wednesday, 21 July 2021, with classes commencing in January 2022. Learners will be able to enrol at any time.

The university said learners would benefit from a supported self-discipline model, which allows them to pace their own learning.

They will also have access to one-on-one tutoring from expert teachers and support coaches when they need it.

Students will also be provided with university and career preparation services and offerings.

UCT’s vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
UCT’s vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

The full curriculum will be made available for free on an interactive online platform. Users of this free content will be issued with a learner number to save their learning path and data.

Learners will have full access to expert-designed interactive notes, videos, animations, simulations, practise assignments, and quizzes.

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

“As a result, we have taken the bold step to launch an innovative online high school in January 2022, where the academic excellence of UCT can be extended to high school learners across the country.”

Now read: A look inside South Africa’s first boutique high school which will open in 2021

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University of Cape Town launches online high school