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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid