South Africa: Too Many Children Left Behind By Motshekga's Lockdown Interventions

opinion

Angie Motshekga's linear plans to support learners are to provide learning resources online, and via television and radio, and providing some (unspecified) assistance to the Department of Social Development in the delivery of food parcels. It's not enough.

"Considering schools in rural areas, how will the Minister [Motshekga] ensure that learners with no internet connection are not left behind?" asked Ntombi, a Grade 12 learner and member of Equal Education (what we call an Equaliser), from Nquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

"Most learners in rural areas do not have access to the internet and some cannot study on their own. Has the Minister [Motshekga] thought about how this will be addressed? Especially for learners in Grade 12?" asked Kgaugelo, an Equaliser from Ga-Mashashane in Limpopo.

When Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga held a media briefing a few days ago to present her Covid-19-related intervention plans to the country, these were the concerns that Equalisers wanted her to respond to.

Bold, imaginative and empathetic leadership is being asked of Motshekga, to lessen the impact of school closures on learners and school staff, from impoverished and rural communities in particular. Instead, she seemed not to have fully grasped how grave the circumstances are...

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