South Africa: SA Schools’ October Holiday Break May Be Shelved to Make Up for Lost Teaching Days


The Department of Basic Education has proposed scrapping the October school holiday to help make up for lost teaching time. This comes as Covid-19 infections and lockdown measures continue to cause disruptions to the sector, affecting critical teaching time.

Under the current 2021 school calendar, government schools are scheduled to go on holiday from 1 October to 11 October. However, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is proposing that the mid-term break be cancelled.

Suspending the holiday would make way for an additional week of teaching, from 4 to 8 October, to help make up for lost time.

Schools reopened on 26 July, following South Africa’s move to an adjusted Level 3 lockdown. This was after they were forced to close early in June as a result of increasing Covid-19 infections amid the third wave, and the implementation of Level 4 lockdown restrictions.

While the Education Department adjusted the June holidays to accommodate the abrupt closure, learners still lost five teaching days over this time.

Basic Education Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga confirmed that a formalised proposal to cancel the October holiday had been made and that it was currently being discussed between stakeholders. He added that the Heads of Education…



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