Newspaper clipping – The Pretoria News – 24 March 2009

Presidency Nets kids by joining fun with fact

A colourful animated and user-friendly website was launched at the Union Buildings on Monday, with the aim of teaching children about the Presidency and the government of South Africa.

Minister in the Presidency Manto Tshabalala-Msimang presided over the launch, attended by 24 pupils from seven schools around Gauteng, who were the first to peruse the Presidency Kids website.

The content was developed in consultation with the Department of Education and edited by a children’s language editor. The website is meant to speak directly to pupils between the ages six and 13 and is designed in a flash format to provide an animated and interactive experience for the user. The website is also meant to teach and encourage pupils to use the internet.

Key content includes information about the national flag, background information about the country’s president, the national anthem and other South African information of interest.
            “As a caring nation, we have an obligation to teach our children about their country and national identity. We can only do that by ensuring that children understand the national symbols. Our children should be afforded an opportunity to understand the responsibilities of the Presidency,” said Tshabalala-Msimang.

She said it was the Presidency’s intention to continuously improve the website so that in future it could include critical information such as the UN Convention on Children’s Rights and the African Union Charter of the Rights and Welfare of Children.
            “Our children need to know all these instruments and they relate to their well-being. We are the first ministry to do this and we hope other ministries will join us and add more information, so that our children can grow and understand their culture and be proud of their country,” she said.

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Tshabalala-Msimang said she was inviting the private sector to assist the Presidency by contributing computers to schools in disadvantaged areas. She also appealed to parents, teachers, individuals and other African countries that had information of interest to help improve the website’s content.

A total of seven schools were handed two computers each. The ministry will help get schools connected to the internet and to provide computers where needed.

The website address is www.thepresidency.gov.za/kids