DBE sets record straight on using celebs to teach pupils during lockdown

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Apr 14, 2020

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Durban - The Department of Education has come under fire for using South African celebrities to teach pupils during the lockdown. However, according to Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, famous faces encouraging South Africans to read should not be a cause for any negative reaction. 

Mhlanga further clarified that the initiative was created by a non profit organisation called Africa Teen Geeks, who approached the department with the idea for an intervention to support pupils during the lockdown. 

"The Lockdown Digital Classroom is not a formal school, in fact it is not a school. It is an out-school project that was put in place as a temporary activity to urge pupils to continue learning at home. It is optional and participation is voluntary. Of the 56 teachers involved, 54 are qualified and registered with the South African Council for Educators, the remaining two are student teachers," he said. 

The programme includes celebs like Somizi Mhlongo, Pearl Modiadie, Khaya Mthethwa and DJ Sbu. Mhlanga said the celebrities volunteered to promote the digital school, which has reached over 30 000 pupils so far.

Reacting to the programme, teacher union SADTU, slammed the department adding that the programme sought to undermine the teaching profession. 

The Mercury    

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