Implementation of KILT’s initiatives is backed by the principals, assisted by volunteers and supported by donor funding.
Psycho-social and remedial programme
KILT sees its psycho-social and remedial programme as at least a five-year project to uplift schools, help learners achieve success in their studies, and ensure they have a breathing space to play and be children. This programme is critical to the success of the whole KILT initiative.
Initial research uncovered high levels of trauma and low levels of literacy and numeracy at all Knysna’s government schools. Teachers have to cope with heavy curriculum demands, large classes and poor academic performance, all of which are exacerbated by problems stemming from a lack of basic skills among their learners, and low parental involvement.
For children, the outcome is disastrous – the extent of trauma impacts on their ability to cope emotionally and academically. This commonly leads to low morale, resulting in poor discipline and disruptive behaviour.
As a result, schools are facing a crisis in terms of gangsterism, substance usage, violence, abuse, illness, poverty and malnutrition.
Our psycho-social and remedial programme aims to create a healthy school environment across all 17 schools in Knysna, in which teachers are motivated, learners are committed to the learning process, and parents and the broader community are invested in their children’s education.
A dedicated team of highly qualified and experienced counsellors run five interconnected projects:
- The school health project focuses on creating healthy school and classroom environments as well as positive life skills and wellbeing. Sound relationships between learners, educators and parents are emphasised through practical skills programmes on nutrition, sexual health, and drug and alcohol awareness. The psycho-social team assists at-risk young people and helps them on their path of personal development so as to reduce delinquent behaviour. In the latter part of 2018, during 21 sessions, the programme reached 590 learners in six primary schools and 350 learners in two high schools.
- The counselling project provides psychological support to traumatised children so as to build confidence and self-esteem. In 2018, 133 learners received individual counselling in a total of 300 sessions. Some 190 learners received group counselling in a total of 77 sessions.
- The remedial project focuses on individual and small group assessments and interventions, and remedial teaching for special-needs learners. It provides teachers with tools for overcoming challenges in their classrooms, developing disciplinary strategies, identifying lagging learners and improving literacy.
- The parenting project equips parents with the necessary emotional skills and knowledge to establish healthy relationships with their children and support traumatised children.
- The community project. A team of trained counsellors works within the broader community to address the needs of traumatised learners and encourage educational accomplishment.