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Not Taking Education for Granted, By Luca Keys

12 Jul 2017

This week we hosted 15-year-old student Luca Keys from Wells Blue School as part of a work experience placement at SOS Africa’s Shepton Mallet Office. After hearing about the daily challenges faced by South African township children, Luca decided to write this fantastic article:

An inspiring article written by 15 year old Luca Keys from Wells Blue School during his work experience placement at the SOS Africa Charity Fundraising Office in Shepton Mallet

As a child, I understand the importance of education to people and their futures. In Britain, we take schooling and education for granted; we get annoyed at school systems and teachers, the way that we are treated but in reality we are lucky to be in the position we are in.

For children in Africa it is very different; the schooling system isn’t what it should be. To attend the best schools you have to pay fees, even though the majority of families have a low income (as their jobs are mostly seasonal they couldn’t possibly support their child in school and have enough money for food and the living essentials).

In the UK we are forced into education which will take us further, enabling us to go on to university or get an apprenticeship. In South Africa, without charitable support, kids do not have such opportunities and instead endure very hard lives. Reading up about the South African school system surprised me as not many children who start at the first grade make it to exams and pass. This shows that there isn’t enough support for the children who aren’t extremely smart or have learning difficulties which will affect them for their later life.

We should all have equal opportunities; all children deserve the opportunity to thrive and create a life for themselves where they do not have to live on the streets or in slums, but instead to live in the safety of a house like you or I would live in.

Yes, Africa is seen as a third world country but it doesn’t mean they should be treated differently; this is why SOS Africa has had such a good impact as they have created suitable learning areas within after-school clubs to offer any support the children might need, giving them the same opportunities as we have.

I have learned that a student’s wellbeing and mental state is just as important in the workplace as learning. For this to happen in South Africa I would believe it to be quite hard as they could have family problems and difficult living conditions. This problem should not be suppressed; by receiving counselling at school the child would be a lot happier as they would know that he/she has people to help through hard times. With this sort of help, with good schooling and support of the child’s mental health, the school system will get back on track and the kids will be able to learn and proceed in life.

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