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DBE and UAE launch Back-to-School Campaign to mitigate post COVID-19 challenges

The mission of supporting schools to recover from learning losses encountered during the COVID-19 resurgence, has gained momentum during the 2022 financial year. Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga and the Ambassador for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr N SSM Alhameli, launched the Back-School Campaign in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces this week, to mitigate post COVID-19 challenges. During October 2021, the Ambassador and the Minister agreed to work with Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) in identifying schools that are in dire need of intervention support for effective delivery of quality education. Twenty schools across all nine provinces have been identified to benefit from the Campaign. As part of the initiative, the identified schools will receive items ranging from school furniture, tablets, white boards, text books, school shoes, bags and sanitary towels. 
South Africa and the UAE have maintained a friendly and mutual beneficial relationship since formal diplomatic ties were first established in 1994. Through the diplomatic framework, the DBE and the Embassy of the UAE engage in co-operation on various educational matters. The DBE and the UAE Embassy are currently negotiating for a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) on the Basic Education Sector.
The Ambassador said that South Africa and the UAE have a rich history of bilateral relations, especially in education. “It is therefore befitting to complement the DBE’s efforts in improving quality education in schools. I would like to acknowledge Minister Motshekga for affording our Embassy an opportunity to provide support where needed,” said Ambassador Alhameli. 
In her address, Minister Motshekga thanked the UAE for its generosity, saying that the Back-to-School Campaign will go a long way in ensuring that schools with limited resources are adequately supported.  “We are really humbled by your gesture of humanity and compassion demonstrated in the Sector. We therefore look forward to the expansion of our partnership to transform the landscape of education in South Africa,” added Minister Motshekga.

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