Educational Interventions in Townships

EDULAB

Khayelitsha

Helping hand: Introducing the 100-UP Project were (standing, from left) Dr Jonathan Clark, Pumla Satyo, Prof Rudi Laugksch, Neliswa Dludla, and Ferial Parker.

Edulab is a university-wide initiative in the township of Khayelitsha, a large settlement outside Cape Town. This township is experiencing major challenges with respect to school education. The great majority of learners in the primary schools have levels of proficiency in numeracy and literacy which are almost three grades below where they ought to be. In the high schools matriculation pass rates are weak and, from one year to another, erratic. This situation presents itself as a challenge on two fronts: firstly, the general failure of the schooling system poses a threat to the socio-economic stability of the country in that school failure inevitably leads to unemployment and the possibility of social anomie; Secondly and more directly for the university, the numbers of learners who are eligible to come to the University are unacceptably small and those who do manage to obtain passes which entitle them to enter university are wholly under-prepared. UCT currently has extremely low numbers of students from the Khayelitsha area and those who are admitted struggle to succeed. This failure has direct consequences for UCT.

Investment in Learners from Khayelitsha 100-UP Programme

Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube »UCT already has a number of school-based interventions in Khayelitsha. What Edulab has made possible is the consideration of how these interventions can be brought together to scale up the reach of UCT?s engagement in the area and the intensity of what it is doing.

It is proposed that over the course of three years, the Schools Development Unit in the School of Education leads an intervention, the “100-up” Programme, which seeks to build the intellectual, social and cultural capital of a carefully selected group of high school students with academic potential, from all 20 high schools in Khayelitsha. The primary objective of the project is to better prepare this group of students to compete for places at UCT once they have completed their high school studies. A particular, but not exclusive, emphasis will be placed on encouraging students to pursue degree courses in the sciences, engineering, commerce and related fields. The university has provided seed funding for year one of this project, and additional funding is sought for years two and three (R2 million).

Read more about the Khayelitsha “100-up” Programme.

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