By Naseera Nanabhai
Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education has declared that postponing the academic year further over fears of Covid-19, is not an option. The education system is currently “breathing through the wound” she stated and that closing schools would have “catastrophic” outcomes.
In response to calls for the academic year to resume next year, she stated that it would make it difficult to admit the one million grade r pupils who need to enter the system in 2021. “We need grade 12s to move to allow space for the grade 1s, just to get the system to breathe” Motshekga mentioned.
A new calendar has been published for the rest of the 2020 school year, which has been structured so that the academic year won’t push into 2021. This follows a decision by government to shut schools for a period of 4 weeks, set to re-open on 24 August.
Grade 12 learners returned to school on Monday after a one-week break. Grade 7s are set to return next week, while other grades are set to return on August 24, after closing on July 27th.
In terms of the new calendar, the school year will end on 15 December 2020 for grades R to 11, and will not be carried over into 2021. There will be a break between the third and fourth terms, from the 26th to the 30th of October.
The department has declared that Matric exams will also be concluded by 15 December, with marking is expected to be completed by 22 January 2021, and the results released on 23 February 2021.
The new school calendar can be seen below or click here to view online.