The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has released its revised school calendar for the 2020 academic year.
According to the department, the consultation process concluded with all stakeholders and the Council of Education Ministers approving the revised school calendar.
This comes after the president’s announcement last month that public schools will close for a month, and Grade 12s will close for a week amid a surge in Covid-19 infections in South Africa.
It is the second time this year that the school calendar has been amended to accommodate changes brought on by the pandemic.
The amended school calendar will resume from August 24, 2020, and 163 actual school days left for teachers and 156 for learners.
The school year will conclude on December 15, 2020, for Grade R-11 and will not carry over into 2021.
A short break between the third and fourth terms will result in a one-week break in October.
Teaching, learning and assessments for the 2020 academic year must conclude by December 15, 2020, for Grades R-11.
For Grade 12s, the 2020 examinations will conclude by December 15. Exam paper markings will conclude on January 22 with results released on February 23, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has criticised the publishing of a new 2020 school calendar in the absence of gazetted dates, saying it had caused chaos and confusion for matric pupils.
The DBE had released an amended school calendar on Saturday, which would see schools reopening on August 24 following a four-week break.
DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said: “The calendar will be gazetted and published (this week).
“The minister will issue directions for the basic education that will provide guidance on various matters affecting the basic education sector.”
Western Cape Educational MEC Debbie Schäfer argued that the publishing of a new calendar, while failing to gazette directions, has caused confusion, leaving many unsure whether Grade 12s should return today.