Meet Alicia Cupido
I can say with all honesty that I won't ever regret enrolling my daughter at UCT Online High School. Personally, this has been the best decision for us financially and even emotionally. My daughter went to two very good schools in Stellenbosch, but because of personal reasons, I took the opportunity and enrolled her when I saw that UCT Online High School started to take in grade 11s for 2022.
As a single mom, with no extra help, we struggled at times, but the one thing I always do is try my utmost with her education. I didn't have the opportunity to go study, and my goal in life is to give her the best education possible. With any schooling comes challenges but with online schooling, we save on travelling costs and extra day-to-day expenses.
UCT Online High School is the stepping stone to this dream of ours of better education and my daughter is happier and less anxious. Halfway through the year, we realised that she did better in her grades and I've got a much more confident teen that puts effort in and works according to a structured timetable.
Being a working mom, I thought that this would've had a negative impact on her studies — no grown-up around so she can do what she wants — to date, she has proved me wrong.
My daughter is always ahead with modules and pacing herself to do what is necessary on a school day. She tries to go through everything again before she moves on to the next module. Her day starts as if she is attending a brick-and-mortar school, 08h00 - 12h30 and from 13h30-15h30. Sometimes she will take a few hours in the evening or over weekends to do some work, as she puts it; "got extra time on hand, so I might as well do schoolwork". She balances her school and social life well, this makes me super proud indeed.
She is so mature when it comes to online schooling, really committed and disciplined. I was proud when our Support Coach asked if she could speak with her peers on ways to help them get ahead with modules as well. A few guardians also sent DMs (direct messages) asking for help, and my daughter assisted where she could. We should learn to go easy on them and for better results, do not spoon-feed them (it works for us). This way they will get their independence for any future tertiary education.
I seldom have to intervene with the Support Coach as she completely takes the lead when she has a problem and always keeps me in the loop. We have a great coach, Zanele — kind-hearted, eager to help and always just an email away. We are thankful for her contribution to Jamie's eagerness to sort out problems herself. When she needs to she will arrange a Ask Me Anything session and now that they changed it to class Ask Me Anything sessions she thinks that this is a better opportunity to understand the work — she might have a question some other learners didn't think of and vice versa.
Yes, there have been obstacles, nothing in this life is smooth sailing and when I see on our Social Media Guardian group, and how other gaurdiansget anxious and frustrated, I really feel for them. Rome wasn't built in one day and we have to understand that we grow and learn together with the school in *my opinion*.
Somehow my daughter's previous high school helped with the idea of "homeschooling" during Covid in 2020 when they worked on Google Classroom and had lessons via video calls etc. I can truly say that because of this she really transitioned smoothly from that experience to UCT Online High School. Even as an Afrikaans learner transitioning to a school that taught in English, it was not difficult and this was also something I am proud of. Again, a stepping stone for classes at university — everything is in English these days.
We are excited to grow with UCT Online High School and excited that she will be part of the first UCT Online High School matric 2023 alumni.
2022 is really a game changer for the next Grade 11s and a big thumbs up to the guardians and the Guardian Forum, who are actively striving to help make this work with UCT Online High School, I salute you all.
2023 will definitely have many more challenges and we are not sure what is waiting on the other side but together WE can do this.