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SU launches online learning for high school

Stellenbosch University has launched SU Advantage, an innovative online learning and teaching solution (in English) for high school learners and teachers in Grade 10 to 12.  Its a first-of-its-kind online supplementary education platform, which the University developed to support high school learners on their journeys toward academic success and university preparation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) supported thousands of learners through funded initiatives by giving them access to online supplementary education platforms. The initiatives were highly successful, which led SU to develop a similar solution for the private market.

SU Advantage provides learning support and across eleven subjects which are typically required for university admission. “Our platform is built following a 4-step approach to learning to provide effective results to users,” Dr Benedict Khoboli, Director of SUNCEP explains.

“Firstly, engaging, short-form video lessons are used to present crucial topics in each subject to learners in a format they prefer to consume content.

Secondly, topic-based assessments and quizzes are used to measure the extent of learners’ initial understanding of the content presented.

Thirdly, consolidated workbooks and memo-based reconciliation are used to measure their understanding of key concepts and to improve their fundamental comprehension of specific topics.

 Finally, it also boasts interactive live lessons in all subjects where subject experts solidify the concepts learners were exposed to in video lessons and other learning materials,” he added.

Prof Thuli Madonsela

Prof Thuli Madonsela, Chair in Social Justice at SU’s Faculty of Law, stated in her keynote address that SU Advantage would build on social justice in democratic South Africa. “SU Advantage can contribute primarily through advancing access to education information and knowledge, bridging the gap and minimising isolation of many historically disadvantaged children and educators.”

” SU Advantage is one of many building blocks in solving the economic educational inequalities,” she said.

“Recognising the challenges that the country’s education system is currently facing and the economic impact COVID-19 has had on many families, Stellenbosch University decided to create this accessible online solution. Our Vision 2040 states amongst others that we’re inclusive and innovative, advancing knowledge in the service of society. An initiative like SU Advantage is perfectly aligned with our vision and will have a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, in a video message at the event.

Luister na Jerome Topley – Projek Bestuurder by SU Advantage – Hy verduidelik gou in Afrikaans

Dr Khoboli, elaborates, “Educators are under increasing pressure to improve pass rates and learner performance. However, the reality is that resources are limited, and classrooms are simply too full to accommodate the needs of all learners,”.

“Our goal is not to replace traditional mainstream schooling but is meant to enhance and amplify what learners are exposed to in classrooms,”

“The content and resources developed for the platform have been created in alignment with generally accepted pedagogical principles”. “All resources available on the platform have been created by experienced educators, who are teachers that have excelled in their teaching careers. Simply put, the learning material available on SU Advantage is of high quality and designed so that it ensures a holistic understanding on the side of learners.”

It can be used by any learner who subscribe to the platform. “Covid-19 brought about the opportunity to refine and expand the programme and adapt it to be applicable for a mass market,” explains Khoboli. The cost is R399 per month.

“We’ve made it our mandate to make tertiary education a reality for more South African youths. By providing foundational support to high school learners in the senior phases of their educational journey, SU Advantage can help them to improve their chances of getting accepted into tertiary learning institutions.”

SU Advantage boasts a range of career guidance tools, which effectively assist learners in getting a bird’s eye view of exactly what is required of them to pursue their dreams. These tools include online aptitude tests, which are seamlessly integrated with the University’s available courses so that learners can get a clear sense of the fields of study best suited to their personality and school performance.

Parents and learners can register to at www.suadvantage.co.za. The business community and private donors are also invited to partner with SUNCEP to help them grow the community of FET learners from schools with limited resources to access SU Advantage and thereby democratise educational support in South Africa.

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