Motshekga: Learning resources for school children to be made available on April 1
Pretoria – As South Africa braces for a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday appealed to families to protect and support school-going children who will be at home.
“We are...acutely aware of the importance of keeping our children safe from all sorts of dangers including abuse and anxiety caused by Covid-19. In this regard, we encourage families and community services to be extra vigilant in the care and support of learners,” Motshekga said during a media briefing in Pretoria.
“Do not leave them unattended, watch for signs of depression and provide ongoing support to address any anxiety at this time. It is important that we continue to speak to the learners about the promotion of health and safety in the home by adhering to basic hygiene practices.”
The minister said that together with provinces, the National Department of Basic Education has prepared online and broadcast support resources. Focus had been placed on Grade 12 learners and the promotion of reading for all the grades.
Some of the programmes will be available from April 1.
Motshekga said her department was working closely with key partners to coordinate and make available content tailored to support learners’ educational and health needs during the lockdown.
The resources listed by the minister include:
• Broadcast lessons working with SABC TV and Radio
• DSTV channel 180
• E.tv has allocated a dedicated channel for three months on the Openview platform
• Broadcast of lessons on community radio stations around the country
• Electronic readers available via all platforms in partnership with Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Cell-C
• 2Enable App as a freely downloadable educational platform with more than 2000 electronic readers in the indigenous languages
• Promotion of the African Storybook series through the 2Enable App
• The National Reading Coalition has identified extensive lists of additional resources and organisations that are willing to make their materials available
• Free access to Siyavula Maths and Science support in partnership with MTN and
• Free access to the Vodacom Virtual Classroom.
Motshekga said the content on the platforms “has been carefully curated” to be available online and for broadcast.
“The DBE website has been updated with current and relevant content inclusive of reading resources and websites. Other content which is available on websites of our partners has also been made available through links on the DBE website on www.education.gov.za,” she said.
“Parents, teachers and learners are encouraged to visit the DBE website. We urge those who raise learners with special education needs to get in touch with the department should the need arise."
Regarding the nutrition support programme which feeds millions of learners at South African schools, Motshekga said an avenue was being explored to permit one member of the needy family to collect a food parcel once per week during the lockdown.
“This is to ensure social distancing. Several partners are willing to support this initiative and they include Tiger Brands, Nestle, Pioneer, Old Mutual, First Rand and Add Hope Foundation,” she said.
African News Agency (ANA