August 08, 2017

Lyceum’s Louisa Khalo: Enriching the Lives of Grade R Students in South Africa

Ashmika Chottu

“When you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” A quote that aptly describes the influence that female education has on a community. With the rise of gender equality in the twenty-first century, women have empowered themselves to make a difference, juggling many roles from being mothers, teachers, caregivers and most importantly breadwinners, among many others.

One such remarkable woman is Louisa Khalo. Louisa is a forty-seven-year-old house mother and Lyceum Grade R student who has dedicated her life to the children of the Dominican School for the Deaf. For the past six years, Louisa has been staying at the school hostel in Hamanskraal to take care of the children’s every need during the course of the week. On the weekends, the children leave to go home to their parents.

Seen is Louisa teaching the children.

Often spending her time with the six-year-old children and finding herself intrigued by their development is what sparked Louisa’s first step into realising her dream and true purpose in life – teaching. Louisa has always been passionate about the ability to make a difference in children’s lives and this is what led her to Lyceum.

She said, “I love spending time with children and being able to teach them new things. For the many years that I am living at the school, I have always been involved in ensuring the children are well-taken care of. I help them have a bath and get ready for school, make their lunches, help with homework and dedicate time to play with them. Now, however, I would love to be able to teach them more.”

Seen is Louisa playing with the children on the playground

Senior Lecturer of the Lyceum Education Faculty, Helen Dempsey who got the privilege to work with the admirable Louisa, said “Louisa does not only care about the children’s safety and well-being, but she respects the uniqueness of her children and decided to get involved with their learning and development. It is when she took the interest and initiative to start a teaching career with Lyceum College by enrolling for the Grade R Diploma. She wanted to create and develop new learning experiences by engaging, motivating and challenging her grade R learners.”

The determined Louisa is currently completing her first year of the Grade R Teaching Diploma and expresses that she has already learnt so much thus far. “I enjoy studying at Lyceum. I have learnt a lot so far and the staff are helpful. It is not easy to work and study but Lyceum makes it easy for those who are working.  I fit my study time after the children go to bed and on weekends.”

Helen added, “We are a team of academics with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the Grade R classroom environment.  This enables us to impart these skills to our students.  Louisa fits in well at our Lyceum family, together with her humble personality and a good base of knowledge.”

The dedicated and hard-working Louisa would love to share a message to motivate working all over “It is never too late to start studying. It is difficult to work and study but you must continue. Never give up on your dreams.”

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