Changes to School Calendar Policy

By sylviahammond, 21 March, 2024
Angie Motshekga roses

Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education has issued an updated policy for the arrangements of public school calendars, and repeals the previous Notice 57 of 30 January 2015.  See link to full policy below. 

Essentially, the updated policy allows the Minister and the Department of Basic Education to make changes to the school calendar in order to take account of unexpected events, such as the COVID pandemic and the Regulations that followed limiting public activities. In addition, however, the revised policy provides information of the criteria used to determine the way the school calendar is structured, and interestingly, that the calendar must be available at least 18 months before the year starts. 

The Department of Basic Education is required to give effect to the Constitutional right that everyone - not just citizens - has to a basic education; to the right of freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion; and to ensure that the interests of the children remain paramount. 

The policy takes account of the Public Holidays, and applies equally to all provinces.

A significant change affects the December school holiday closure. Whereas before closure for students was the in the second week on a Wednesday with the educators staying on until Friday. That will now be closure at the end of the first full week of December, with the educators now staying on into the following week. That will certainly make it easier for working parents, who need to coordinate their holiday break - rather than the term ending half way through a week. 

In the past, announcements were made through newspapers and published in the Government Gazette. Now, the policy allows for the Department of Basic Education to advise parents via social media and government websites.


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