News / Africa

    US NGO Teams with South African Schools to Enhance Education in Townships

    Teach With Africa trains teachers and mental health workers to improve student performance

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Conversation with Dr Orlando Taylor and Dr Cynthia Overton

    One of the biggest problems facing African youth is a lack of education.  Experts say the continent has the lowest rate of school enrollment in the world.

    In South Africa, as in many other African countries, most of it is attributed to social and economic problems going back to the apartheid era.  Many South African students drop out before high school graduation.  Many are from poor neighborhoods that were affected by apartheid.  One solution to the problem was to create special programs for outstanding students in local communities like Gugulethu in Cape Town.

    Dr. Cynthia Overton is a senior researcher with the American Institutes for Research.  She recently visited the LEAP Schools in South Africa.  LEAP stands for Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism. http://www.leapafrica.org/

    Overton says LEAP schools were started as way to address some of the issues affecting students from mainly black townships.  Many of them can’t afford to attend the more expensive private schools.  She says the schools have had a great impact on the students, who, in turn, “impact their communities.”

    But like many African countries, South Africa has a great need for trained teachers—and that is where Teach With Africa comes in.  Dr. Orlando Taylor is the vice president of the Chicago School of Psychology and a member of a group that has recently partnered with LEAP schools, an NGO called Teach With Africa.  Taylor says it is sending teachers and mental health workers to South Africa “to work with teachers and other professionals there, to enhance the quality of education for students in South Africa.”

    Overton and Taylor say there’s a connection between good teachers and student achievement.  Statistics show that less that 30% of black South African students pass the national high school exit exam, and only 5% qualify for university application. Since the LEAP program began in 2004, its students have excelled in the national exam, many of them passing with high grades.

    Taylor says the LEAP programs in South Africa have “produced a new generation of young people in the townships who will take their learning back to their community to enhance the building of the community.”

    He says this is a very important lesson for communities both in South Africa and in the South Side of Chicago.

    The Chicago School of Psychology has established The Center for African Psychology to provide students with an understanding of mental health issues “so they will be more global in their orientation,” says Dr. Taylor.  He adds that the center will give Americans an opportunity to learn about psychology “from an African perspective…and, more importantly, how [problems] are addressed.”

    The Chicago School of Psychology has already established partnerships with local African community organizations like the Rwanda International Association—a community organization based in Washington, DC, made up of Rwandans living in the US. The school will soon send students Rwanda and Zambia to train teachers about mental health issues and their treatment.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora