Breaking the barriers to learning in education

Breaking the barriers to learning in education

In the wake of Human Rights Day, we are reminded that education is not merely a privilege; it's a fundamental human right.

However, in regions like Knysna, South Africa, thousands of children won’t be going to school at all. Many of our children are still denied this basic right, with many facing significant barriers to learning in education.

Despite the desire to be in school, a recent census reveals that 5.2m children of school-going age aren’t receiving education in South Africa due to various complex factors. 

So what does this look like for Knysna’s children?

  1. Transportation Troubles: Children in remote areas often face challenges getting to school, relying on buses, taxis, or walking long distances. These journeys can be tiring and sometimes risky. As a result, some children may find it hard to attend school regularly and may choose to skip it altogether to avoid these challenges.
  2. Language & Remedial Barriers: Learning in an unfamiliar language can isolate children, deterring them from attending school and hindering their ability to fully engage in learning activities. Additionally, the lack of adequate remedial support further exacerbates the issue, as struggling children may not receive the necessary assistance to overcome challenges, increasing the risk of dropout.
  3. Lack of Support Inside and Outside of School: The absence of comprehensive support systems both inside and outside of school leaves children vulnerable to dropping out. Addressing this challenge requires a multi-faceted approach that involves allocating resources to enhance psychosocial and remedial support within schools, as well as expanding access to quality afterschool programmes.
  4. Food Insecurity: Lack of food poses a significant challenge for children seeking an education. Poverty and distribution challenges limit access to nourishing meals, leaving many kids without adequate nutrition to support their learning and overall well-being. This food insecurity contributes to difficulties in concentration, energy levels, and overall academic performance, ultimately hindering students’ ability to fully engage in their education and increasing the risk of dropout.
  5. Absence of Electricity: The absence of electricity presents a significant obstacle for thousands of children in Knysna. In many households, particularly in remote or underprivileged areas, electricity is a luxury that remains out of reach. This lack of access to electricity has profound implications for children’s education, especially during the evening hours. Without electricity, studying after dark becomes a formidable challenge for our children.

Despite these and other harsh realities, hope persists.

Investing in Education, Changing Lives

KILT stands as a beacon of hope for 13,500 of Knysna’s most vulnerable children and their schools, families and communities. At KILT, we’re not merely observers of the struggles faced by Knysna’s children; we’re dedicated to transforming obstacles into opportunities.

Through 23 projects spanning 17 no-fee schools, KILT addresses the underlying issues hindering education. Our comprehensive initiatives encompass Teacher Development, Psychosocial and Learning Support, Afterschool Projects, Sports Development Programmes, providing food and transportation assistance. Additionally, we focus on Capacity Building, Learner Safety, Learner Hygiene, and various kids clubs. By offering these essential resources, we ensure that every child, educator, and family has the necessary support to succeed.

In a community where poverty looms large, education shines as the pathway to a brighter future. By imparting knowledge, support and skills, we hope to not only break the cycle of poverty but also nurture a generation of change-makers.

But our work is far from over, and we recognise that we cannot do it alone. Knysna is renowned for its generosity and spirit of community, and it’s this collective strength that fuels our mission.

That’s why we’re embarking on a Solar Lights Donation Drive in 2024 and we’re calling on you to help.

Bringing Light to Learning

This month we launched our very first Solar Lights Donation Drive. By providing solar lights to Knysna’s most vulnerable children, we aim to enable safe studying after dark and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

The solar lights will be given to Grade 11’s, 12’s and first-year university students, who are part of KILT’s Tertiary Launch Programme.

Together we are making light work!

[Click here] to learn more.

Inspire a better Knysna

Encourage family and friends to build a better Knysna by sharing the love!