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.
The Psycho-social and Remedial Project (PSRP) is a learner-centric model aimed at holistically supporting learners through the development of programmes that include the learners, their parents and their teachers. Programmes have been successfully implemented in 2019 with focus on initiating sustainable change. In 2020, the programmes will be largely focused on systemically addressing the extensive remedial needs of learners across all grades.
A dedicated team of highly qualified and experienced counsellors run 3 interconnected projects:
- The learner wellbeing programme includes trauma counselling and support for learners as well as guidance and support for the parents and teachers of these learners. 2020 will see the start of a peer mentoring programme and a Clubs & Hubs programme for the high schools to encourage healthy afterschool participation in societies and clubs.
- The remedial programme 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 and community programme equips parents with the necessary emotional skills and knowledge to establish healthy relationships with their children and support traumatised children. A team of trained counsellors works within the broader community to address the needs of traumatised learners and encourage educational accomplishment.