The Ministry of Education approved home-based study groups, provided the COVID precautionary measures of social distancing, regular sanitation and face masks are observed.
Thus in April 2020 we started a study group of 30 children in Form 1. Within 6-8 weeks we had a 23% drop out but the remaining 77% was consistent through. We learnt that the reason that children miss school or drop-out of school has more to do with the family situation than resources or distance. This was evident as at the Kezi Study Group they were learning for free and no one travelled for more than 20 minutes to school. Financial resources do play a part especially when a family had to decide between sending a girl child or a boy child to school but with the study group that was not the issue because there were no school fees required.
What was amazing was that even though they only learnt for 3months all the children improved and there was a general sense of an increase in the love of learning. Their families became very engaged in their learning. One parent commented that all the children in the family were participating in the homework that our students were taking home. The homework became the talking point in the evening around the fire in the evening for most families. The study groups really made learning a community activity with the potential to change families and lives.
We wrote our end of term tests and closed school end of July. 78% of our students passed all subjects and it was a great improvement from when they started. The majority of the students with us had not done any Form 1 lessons when they began with us. The 22% who did not do well was because initially they had missed lessons but after talking to their parents they became consistent in their attendance.
Currently the program has grown to include Form 2s as well. The Tshabangus, a very hardworking couple, host the group in their beautiful Homestead. They help supervise the kids and are a great help.
These study groups are the living gospel reaching out and changing lives and our community. It is us letting our light shine and letting the people see the glory of our father in heaven.