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Ministry of Basic Education meets UNICEF and the Hempel Foundation to strengthen partnerships in early grade reading

Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga and Basic Education Deputy Minister, Dr Reginah Mhaule, have met a delegation from the Danish Office of the Hempel Foundation and UNICEF. The meeting at took place last night, 6 June, in Menlyn, Pretoria.


The event was a culmination of a workshop where a partnership was discussed to develop and pilot innovative interventions to strengthen the quality of reading in Grades 1 to 3, and to increase retention and learning outcomes of vulnerable children in rural areas. Provinces that will benefit from the partnership include the North West, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

In her remarks Minister Motshekga said that President Ramaphosa reappointed her as the Minister of Basic Education to continue the National Reading Campaign drive which he has identified as one of his top priorities. Minister Motshekga expressed her gratitude towards the Hempel Foundation and UNICEF for their support of the Department’s reading interventions: “We should not tire to encourage children and adults alike to read for pleasure and for information because everything collapses at the doorstep of reading”.

Dignitaries present included Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld from the Embassy of Denmark, who pledged to bring more organisations such as the Hempel Foundation that are willing to support the development of South Africa’s children, on board. UNICEF Country Representative, Dr Sanjay Wijesekera, thanked the Department for their partnership that spanned many years, and expressed his hope that the relationship will continue with its mission of aiding the development of the country’s children.

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