As The Gathering's Homework Club runs down the last few weeks of the final term, we uncovered a tragic truth today that is also a damning indictment on the South African education system, but which also underlines why as The Gathering we want and need to take possession of the building we currently Gather in so we can better serve our community.

One of our Gr4 learners has been struggling with the Maths@Home app on the tablets all year, but each time we offered him help he backed away saying he was OK. Today he finally admitted he cannot read and that's why he has been struggling. Tragically, had he let us know at the start of the academic year, we could have had him reading by now and that would have been a game changer for him.

Sadly this is an awful indictment on the education system which so regularly fails its learners. The reality here is that many teachers are too lazy/under motivated/underpaid to bother doing their jobs properly, so rather than fill in the necessary forms with a plan of intervention for the learner, they simply pass him each year making him the next teacher's problem.

It's no wonder that come High School so many choose to drop out and then get sucked in to the gang culture. Imagine arriving at High School not being able to read. How humiliating that must be!

Our plan at The Gathering is to expand our Homework Club next year to include literacy alongside maths, and we just know this would be an amazing way to serve the community by keeping kids in school and breaking the cycle of them dropping out and joining gangs.

But... we need the bigger premises to be able to do this. So we're about 80% of the way there with our finances so please stand with us in prayer for the remainder. We need another million Rands (£50k).


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