South Africa: Department Releases Revised School Calendar

The Department of Basic Education has released a revised school calendar for the 2020 academic year.

"In terms of the new version of the calendar, schools will resume on 24 August 2020. There are 163 actual school days for teachers and 156 for learners," the department said on Saturday.

The school year will be completed on 15 December 2020 for Grades R-11.

"A break in school will be needed to separate the third and fourth terms. As a result there will be a one week break in October from the 26th to the 30th. The teaching, learning and assessment for the 2020 academic year must be concluded by 15 December 2020 for Grades R-11," the department said.

The 2020 Grade 12 examinations will be completed by 15 December and the marking will be concluded on 22 January with results released on 23 February 2021.

The new school year will commence on 25 January 2021 for teachers and learners a few days later.

The calendar will be gazetted and published this week.

"The Minister will issue directions for the basic education sector this coming week. The directions will provide guidance on various matters affecting the basic education sector," the department said.

The review of the school calendar comes after a Cabinet decision that schools should break for four weeks.

In his address to the nation last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that schools will close on 27 July and re-open on 24 August.

"The department considered the impact of the decision on the current calendar. The policy process to amend the school calendar commenced taking into account the urgency of the matter as necessitated by the prevalent COVID-19 environment.

"The consultation process has been concluded with all stakeholders and the Council of Education Ministers approved the revised school calendar," the department said.

This is the second time this year that the school calendar has been revised to accommodate the changes that have been brought by the impact of the Coronavirus.

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