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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Presidential Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.