Following the revision of the school calendar, schools will reopen on 25 January 2021, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said.
“First, let me confirm that schools will reopen on 25 January 2021; second, the school calendar will be gazetted tomorrow, Friday, 2 October, after which it will be publicly available.”
The Minister said this at a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.
“We are fully aware that the country needs the school calendar for effective planning purposes, and we have worked hard to ensure it is done properly, taking into account the disruptions that have occurred in 2020,” said Motshekga.
The briefing provided an update on key developments in the basic education sector relating to COVID-19 level 1 restrictions.
With much of the school year obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Motshekga said schools will have to carry over some of the curriculum work into 2021.
“We have done our best to accommodate the interests of everybody, but our priority is the learner,” she said.
With many school days lost this year, especially in the early grades, Motshekga expressed concern at the impact on long-term learning, and the potential increase of inequality in learning outcomes.
This situation, she said, makes it more urgent than before to provide sufficient support to teachers.
“All teachers know that catching up lost learning, or learning recovery, is not an easy, quick activity but requires a lot of dedicated time.
“This will include a concerted effort by both parents and teachers and will need to extend into the 2021 academic year. To allow for this, we have revised the annual teaching plans to extend to next year,” said the Minister.