The Department of Basic Education has published a new school calendar for the 2020 academic year.
South Africa’s school year has been drastically shortened due to the country’s coronavirus lockdown with Grade 7 and 12 students returning to school this week for the first time since the middle of March.
The rest of the country’s students will only return to school in July and August, the Department of Basic Education has said.
The updated calendar provides for new term dates as well the updated school holidays, which amount to a total of seven days for the rest of the year.
You can read the revised calendar below.
The issue of safety in schools was the subject of legal action this week after the Educators’ Union of South Africa (EUSA) made an application to the courts based on concerns that the government has acted recklessly in reopening the country’s schools which could lead to the death of students and educators.
“There is no way that a department that has deliberately overlooked the fact that schools do not have toilets and water after 26 years of democracy can have any good intentions for us,” the union said.
“Once again they are overlooking the fact that many schools in townships and rural areas will not be opening due to structural shortages which they had the obligation, change and money to fix.
“The need for tenders and self-enrichment has become their only priority.”
However, the court found that EUSA’s application contained material flaws which led to the dismissal of the case.
Trade union Solidarity welcomed the judgement, noting that it was not practical to close all of the country’s schools.
“The approach to closing all schools if an equal level of readiness is not achieved at all schools, is unsustainable and unconstitutional. Governing bodies are the appropriate bodies tasked to take decisions in the best interests of the school and its learners,” said Solidarity’s Melanie Buys.