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

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid