While it is only the 2018 summer holiday calendar that will be affected, both learners and teachers face a shorter summer holiday at the end of this year.
Department of basic education director-general Mathanzima Hubert Mweli has announced that the 2018 summer school holiday period will be shorter than it has been in the past, reports Knysna Plett Herald.
“It is not indicative of how subsequent calendars will be structured,” Mweli said.
Schools will close on Wednesday, December 12, for learners and on Friday, December 14, for teachers. They will reopen on Monday, January 7, for teachers and on Wednesday, January 9, for learners.
This effectively means that for the 2018 summer holidays, learners will have 16 days, excluding public holidays, and teachers will have 12 days.
Mweli said in a circular the reason for the short summer holiday was that the council of education ministers took a decision to close schools in the first week of December with effect from 2019.
This decision was taken to ensure that the end of year National Senior Certificate examinations marking processes did not have a negative impact on learning and teaching time.
Scrapping supplementary exams
This announcement comes after the department of basic education said it would be scrapping Grade 12 supplementary exams as from 2019.
The department’s Elijah Mhlanga said the decision was taken after it was noted that all those pupils who qualified to write supplementary exams did not register. In addition, more than half of learners who did register did not end up writing their exams. Mhlanga said this has resulted in a huge financial loss for the department.