In quotes | 'We're available online to answer questions' – Angie Motshekga on lockdown

27 March 2020 - 09:46 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said the department has not determined when schools will reopen for the second term.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said the department has not determined when schools will reopen for the second term.
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday announced that TV and radio stations will broadcast lessons during the 21-day lockdown to ensure pupils stay informed and ready for the second term.

Motshekga was speaking during a press briefing in Pretoria. This is what she said in eight important quotes:

Covid-19 awareness 

“Since schools are closed until April 18, we have had consultations with the provincial departments of education to identify ways in which we ensure our children are better informed about Covid-19.”

Lessons broadcast

“Since the lockdown was announced, we have prepared for a lockdown program so that as soon we're able to open, we can intensify our work and protect the year. We will focus on learning and teaching, but more importantly, to prepare for the catch-up when pupils return to school.”

Safety of children

“We are aware of keeping our children safe from all sorts of dangers, including abuse and anxiety caused by Covid-19. In this regard, we rely on families and community services to remain extra vigilant in the care and support of learners, and we appeal to them to watch for signs of depression and to provide ongoing support to address anxiety at this time.”

Continued learning

“We've put in place a number of programmes, including online broadcast support resources which comprise subject content, focusing mainly on Grade 12, but also developing programmes for all other grades and promoting reading for all grades.”

Children with special needs

“We urge those who are caregivers of children with special educational needs to get in touch with the department should the need arise because we've been getting lots of calls from them. We wouldn't want to prejudice the education of children with special needs. We have authority to give exceptions on critical services.”

School nutrition programmes

“We agreed that outside our infrastructure, which is schools and teachers, as a sector we are not able to feed children in communities. Gauteng children have disappeared overnight after the announcement of the lockdown, so it will be impossible for us to say we can track the children we are feeding. We've agreed that is mission impossible.”

Reopening of schools

“People who continue to spread incorrect information and fake news cause a lot of damage under the current circumstances. We urge members of the public to desist from spreading false information about when schools will reopen, and on any other matter. There is no truth in what has been said on social media about schools reopening in September.”

Department officials available online 

“Contact us via our social media platforms for a speedy response because some of the staff will be full time, working from home, to make sure we can be contacted on any emergency that arises, or if there is any matter that communities don't understand.”