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Free resources for lockdown

There are plenty of free online resources to keep you going through the lockdown.  Pexels There are plenty of free online resources to keep you going through the lockdown. 

Beneficial things to do during the national lockdown at home

April 17, 2020

Carla Bernardo

Cape Town, South Africa: With the nationwide lockdown extended by another two weeks, you may be wondering how you’ll keep yourself and your loved ones informed and entertained. You may be looking for a new fitness regime, to pick up a skill or wonder who the best sources are to follow for credible updates on the pandemic. If you have any of these concerns, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve trawled the web and put together a list of free resources – as long as you have a working internet connection and data – from authorities such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization, Google, the South African government and, of course, the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Your child’s education

• The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has numerous resources for parents, caregivers and learners to support learning at home.

• The DBE and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have launched COVID-19 television (TV) and radio curriculum support programmes for learners. The TV schedule is as follows: Monday to Sunday, 05:00 to 06:00 (SABC 1); Monday to Friday, 09:30 to 11:00 (SABC 2); and Monday to Friday, 06:00 to 07:00 (SABC 3).

• The Western Cape Education Department’s e-portal provides teachers with the information they’ll need to take teaching online and provides parents and learners with a School Closure Pack to keep education on track during the lockdown.

• There are also plenty of children’s storybooks in all official languages. Check out Oaky and the Virus by UCT Graduate School of Business senior lecturer Athol Williams, Nal’ibali, the Sunday Times’ “Storytime”, and African Storybook.

• The UN provides materials that you and your child can use to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals in a fun and engaging way.

Health and well-being

• Reduce stress and anxiety with guided mediation and yoga, provided by the UN.

• Keep fit with lockdown fitness tutorials from the South African government or follow any of your favourite fitness influencers on their social media platforms.

• Find help and further information about mental health on websites such as The South African Depression and Anxiety Group, 7 Cups, LifeLineand the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions.

• UCT students are encouraged to make use of the Student Wellness Service (SWS) on 021 650 5620 (office hours) and 021 650 1271 (after hours). UCT staff can make use of the SWS on 021 650 5685.

• If you’re a staff member, you and your family can also contact the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS) in one of the following ways: through the all-new ICAS On-the-Go app, asking for a call back by using *134*905#, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 080 111 3945.

Learn a new skill

You can pick up a new skill with one of the countless massive open online courses (MOOCs) available from UCT and other universities from around the world. You can access and enrol for many MOOCs for free through options such as:

• UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT)

• Coursera

• Class Central

• edX.

You can also upskill through Google’s Skillshop or Digital Skills for Africa.

If you’re a student, take advantage of the free online resources from UCT Libraries and digital libraries such as JStor and Cambridge University Press. Be sure to check out the National Emergency Library.

Stay informed

It’s important that you have access to the right information. For that reason, we suggest you keep an eye on the following websites for the latest on the pandemic:

• National Department of Health COVID-19 Online Resources & News Portal

• National Institute for Communicable Diseases

• UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 web page

• World Health Organization.

Stay entertained

There are plenty of ways to stay entertained and to keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown. As a start, we suggest the following:

• The “One World: Together at Home” global special will be streamed online on Saturday, 18 April. The virtual concert is being curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga and features artists such as Black Coffee, Billie Eilish, Cassper Nyovest, Jennifer Lopez, Burna Boy, Sho Madjozi, Hozier, Elton John, J Balvin, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Be sure to sign up for the event beforehand.

• There are also daily #TogetherAtHome virtual, no-contact concerts hosted by Global Citizen, and podcasts on the site, such as “Cry Power with Hozier”, where the “Take Me to Church” artists speaks to inspirational artists and activists about changing the world.

• Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, there are over 3 500 virtual museum tours for you to enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home.

• You can also join the South African Lockdown Challenge to compete with other birders across the country.

• View “The Evidence of Things Not Seen”exhibition, a collection of work by artists of colour, curated by the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

• You can also celebrate art with an international audience through the Social Distancing Festival.

Published with permission from the University of Cape Town. For more information about this article visit: https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2020-04-16-free-resources-for-lockdown

Last modified onFriday, 17 April 2020 12:14