This year, December holidays for school goers and parents alike will be shorter as the Department of Basic Education (DBE) sets about reevaluating the school calendar.
The government has made changes to the school holiday calendar, which is presented as making allowances for extra marking time by shortening the December holiday period. A typical school year calendar consists of 200 full days, with each term typically being between 43 and 60 days long.
The DBE stipulates that when a calendar is planned much effort is made to ensure that there is no public holiday during the first or last week of a school term.
“Public holidays that occur during the first or last week of a school term disrupt the academic work of the school,” said the DBE. “The fourth school term must end during the second week of December. For learners, the last school day must be a Wednesday, while the last work day for educators must be the Friday of the same week.”
The decision made by the Council of Education Ministers to shorten December holidays and allow more marking time has been questioned by teacher unions as the decision will also leave teachers with fewer days of leave.
As with anything, the early bird catches the worm, so start planning your holiday now so as not to get caught up in the last minute holiday hustle.
The December 2018 holiday period will be as follows:
Thursday, 13 December to Tuesday, 8 January 2019.
The December 2019 school holiday period will be as follows:
Wednesday, 5 December until Thursday, 7 January 2020.