Unions want new school calendar for South Africa

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The Democratic Union of South African Teachers (Sadtu) has called for changes to South Africa’s 2023 and 2024 school calendars to better align provincial systems.

In a statement following its national executive committee meeting on Sunday, September 19, the union said it would make a formal call for a review of the government’s school calendar policy to allow for future calendars. to adapt to the early closure of schools in the fourth term in the first week of December.

The union also wants to introduce one calendar for inland and coastal clusters.

After two years of confinements linked to Covid-19 which have considerably impacted teaching time, the 2022 and 2023 calendars will see a return to a certain normality with the return of “staggered” open dates for inland and coastal provinces.

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This staggered date has historically welcomed people coming from vacation – another part of South African life that has been significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2022, schools in the interior will open from January 12, while coastal schools are expected to open from January 19. The closing date for inland and coastal schools is December 14.

This equates to 199 actual school days for students.

2022 school calendar of the Inland cluster

School calendar of the coastal cluster 2022

South Africa’s primary schools (grades R – 7) returned to full-time teaching in late July as part of the country’s transition to an adjusted level 3 lockdown.

However, high school students across the country continued to work in shifts, raising concerns about wasted learning time.

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Under the current rotation system, secondary schools in South Africa operate under one of three systems. Students must either physically attend school every other day, every other week, or once a day in the morning or afternoon.

During downtime, students should complete assigned work to ensure they do not fall behind on the program. A number of schools have also integrated online and digital learning platforms for students. Elementary students returned to school full time.

The Ministry of Basic Education has drawn up a three-year stimulus plan to help make up for lost teaching time during the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Angie Motshekga said.

Motshekga said the annual recovery education plan takes into account each subject in each year and will help teachers focus on the key concepts, content and skills to be taught by subject over the next three years.

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“The syllabus statement for each grade and subject has been assessed by a panel of curriculum content experts, and the content has been reduced to ensure that only basic concepts, knowledge and skills are taught for each subject and grade.

“It is expected that over the next three years, learners will have covered the core content of the subject matter, and the curriculum statement, after the three-year period, will be revised to advance learners in their learning process. ‘learning,’ she said.


To read: Curro offers new subjects in its high schools

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