The Department of Basic Education has released a revised school calendar for 2020 which will result in a total of 156 teaching days for the year.
The calendar was approved by all stakeholders and the Council of Education Ministers, with particular consideration given to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department said in a statement.
Schools will close on October 23 and open again on November 2. This will be the detachment of the third and fourth terms.
“We have worked hard to ensure the calendar is done properly, taking into account the disruptions that have occurred in 2020. We will need to carry over some of the curriculum work into 2021, and we have done our best to accommodate the interests of everybody,” she said. “But our priority is the learner.”
For this year, following interruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has been forced to reschedule the National Senior Certificate examinations. Matric exams begin in November.
“As we had already announced before, the June Senior Certificate (SC) examination was postponed, and will now be written together with the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination in November 2020,” added Motshekga.
“The examination timetable for the combined June and November examination had to be amended; so that this examination commences in November, instead of October 2020, as was initially planned. The late start of the examination is intended to allow as much time as possible to cover critical curriculum content, and to ensure that all examination processes are appropriately managed,” she said.
In a speech last week to outline the countdown to matric exams, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga confirmed that “schools will reopen on 25 January 2021”. Teachers will return to classrooms on 25 January, and learners will follow on 27 January 2021.