Newly-wed Mohale Mhlongo-Motaung has been subject to harsh criticism following a snippet of his lesson on adjectives as part of Africa Teen Geeks’ Stem Lockdown Digital School; criticism which led to the hashtag #CelebritiesAreNotTeachers trending but it turns out that Mhlongo-Motaung is actually a registered student teacher.
This is according to a statement issued by the department of basic education in response to the backlash surrounding the Stem Lockdown Digital School book club.
According to the department, the Stem Lockdown Digital School “is not a formal school, in fact, it is not a school”.
“It is an out-school project that was put in place as a temporary activity to urge learners to continue learning at home. It is optional and participation is voluntary.
“Of the 56 teachers involved, 54 are qualified and registered with the South African Council for Educators (SACE). Two are student teachers.”
Mhlongo-Motaung is one of the two aforementioned student teachers who has been tasked with teaching grade 11 English.
While there are some who have acknowledged the statement, others seem to be ignoring it altogether.
DBE also emphasized that they are in no way financially involved with the Stem Lockdown Digital School and its book club.
“There is no financial implication to the department but only advocacy support as the project is fully aligned with the work of the department especially during the Covid-19 lockdown. There was no tender involved.”
Additionally, the department vowed that there was no intention to undermine the teaching profession.
“The practice of using familiar personalities to drive campaign [awareness] is an age-old strategy used to promote worthy causes,” added the department.