The South African Human Rights Commission and the UCT Online High School have partnered on an initiative which aims to promote access to Online Learning, particularly for girl children in rural areas.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Online High School have partnered to launch the ‘SAHRC UCT Online School of Rural Initiative’. This is an initiative which aims to increase and promote access to Online Learning, particularly for girl children in rural areas.
The initiative is currently in its pilot phase and is set for the 2022 school calendar and will be primarily based in the communities of the Valley of a Thousand Hills, which is found 50 kilometres outside of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
These communities were chosen because they face many hardships and this initiative has the potential to promote the development of the community and its young people.
The Valley of a Thousand Hills is facing high levels of poverty, with around 48-50% in unemployment rates, as well as limited access to quality education for most of the area. HIV/AIDS infections are also very high in these communities and most of the homes are informal dwellings which do not have sufficient basic services such as water, sanitation and refuse removal. However, many are now receiving electricity and piped water.
These high levels of poverty means that many children are often not properly nourished and depend on the one meal they receive at school to keep them full for the day. This coupled with the lack of resources in the area means that many children are unable to receive a quality education.
In the pilot phase of the initiative, the partnership will facilitate access to a quality online high school education through UCT Online High School for up to 14 students in communities in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
In a statement the SAHRC highlighted the importance of the ‘SAHRC UCT Online High School Rural Initiative’ being launched in line with International Human Rights Day, on 10 December 2021. The theme for the 2021 Human Rights Day is “Equality: Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights” and this relates to the aim of the Online High School Rural Initiative which is to confront obstacles to equality.
It is an intentional encounter with the continued historic, systematic and socio-economic conditions that contribute to the gendered challenges faced by girls in rural areas, in their quest for quality education.
The UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng says the mission of the UCT Online High School is “to create new opportunities for learners throughout South Africa to choose an aspirational school regardless of their circumstances.”
We are thrilled to collaborate with the SAHRC on this important initiative to level the playing field with an innovative education model, and create access to high quality schooling for all.
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