December 3, 2021

Government walks back on plan to scrap school holidays: report

Fundamental training minister Angie Motshekga says there aren’t any plans to scrap the October school holidays as had beforehand been mentioned, however the lack of instructing time stays a priority.

Talking to parliament’s portfolio committee on primary training on Tuesday (24 August), Motshekga stated that earlier communication from the division was that instructing time had been misplaced due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that this time wanted to be recovered.

Nevertheless, she stated this is able to be discovered “within the remaining days,” and never by scrapping holidays, TimesLive reported.

Earlier in August, primary training spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga stated that the division was holding talks with companions to cancel the October vacation, giving further instructing time between 4 – 8 October.

Nevertheless, primary training director-general Mathanzima Mweli stated that this was solely a advice that had been made and {that a} ultimate choice on the matter had not but been taken.

Misplaced time

All faculties reopened on 26 July as a part of the nation’s transfer to an adjusted degree 3 lockdown after a month-long degree 4 lockdown. Whereas the training division shifted the June holidays to accommodate the closure, college students nonetheless misplaced 5 instructing days over the interval.

Academics unions opposed the plan to scrap school holidays to make up the time.

The SA Onderwysers Unie (SAOU) stated that it acquired communication from the DBE that the next adjustments would happen:

  • That the 5 days from 4 to 8 October 2021 have to be utilised to compensate for the misplaced school days;
  • The third and fourth phrases might be separated by an extended weekend by declaring 23 September 2021 as a school vacation.

“The absolute fixation to insist on the normal 200 school days per annum despite the fact that the world is experiencing an extraordinary period as a result of the Covid pandemic makes no sense whatsoever,” the SAOU stated.

The transfer was additionally criticized by the Democratic Alliance, which stated the division ought to search for different methods to catch up on misplaced time.

“While it is important to implement strategies to catch up on lost time, the department cannot simply suspend learners’ holidays,” it stated.

“Holidays play a vital function in permitting learners to take much-needed day without work, which is essential to guaranteeing good psychological well being and can support the learner of their preparation for the next time period to come.

“Instead of once again disrupting the academic year and putting learners and teachers of risk of burnout, the DBE should look at the importance of finding innovative ways to catch up on lost time.”

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