Initial confusion surrounding the closure date of public schools across the province, prompted the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to clarify the official dates in an announcement earlier this week.

The WCED has announced that the closing date for schools is December 12 2018, with selected schools closing early due to being selected as official NSC marking centers. A total of nine schools out of the 1500 across the Western Cape will close early.

As the festive season starts so will the holidays for learners. Educators will take their leave from December 14 2018.

The WCED department issued a statement saying that any schools closing earlier or later than December 12 are not following protocol set out by the department.

“If any schools have issued letters indicating that they are closing earlier than the 12th of December 2018 then they are acting illegally. These schools were informed well in advance of the dates for the 2018 school year,” said the WCED statement.

A detailed plan of guidelines for the school calendar year were provided by the WCED to all schools in September 2017, giving educators and schools ample time to prepare for the curriculum ahead.

The WCED indicated that school holidays are not shorter this year than previous years.

“It must be noted that while the perception out there is that school holidays have been drastically cut, is untrue,” said WCED

In 2017, the school year lasted 197 days and 2018 has seen the year maintain a 199 day operational period for learners. Both years maintain a relatively similar number of school days.

A total of 199 days are dictated for the school year each year and leaves a period of 166 days for holidays and weekends.

The WCED said the school calendar is determined on a national level and legally must be followed.

“The school timetable, as determined by the National Department of Basic Education, is compulsory and all public schools (teachers and learners) are legally obliged to adhere to it,” said the WCED statement.

Schools are schedule to open on January 9 2019 for learners.


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