Plans to scrap October school holidays slammed

COVID-19 lockdown regulations continue to disrupt the Basic Education sector. The Department has proposed scrapping the October school holiday to make up for lost teaching time. Under the 2021 calendar, pupils are meant to go on holiday from 1 to 11 October. Shahan Ramkissoon spoke to Chris Klopper, CEO of the South African Teachers Union. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Education unions and School Governing Bodies are opposing the Basic Education Department’s proposal to scrap the October school holiday.

That’s according to CEO of the South African Teachers Union CEO, Chris Klopper.

The department wants to make up for lost teaching time.

READ: Education department finalises 2021 school calendar

Klopper says it doesn’t make sense to change the terms and it's unacceptable that no consultations were done with unions.

“When you deal with this particular matter, you must remember that we’re dealing with a serious pandemic.

READ: Over 1,800 schools vandalised in lockdown

"Education -- like all other sectors -- will be affected by it. Teachers are doing their utmost to ensure that the curriculum is covered," Klopper said.

"We must bear in mind that there is a very good reason why school terms are divided into four terms with about 50 days each. If they scrap [the] October holidays, you’re looking at an average term of about 120 days and young people need time to recuperate, they need time to rest and prepare for examinations that will follow in the fourth term.

"It just doesn’t make sense to scrap all of that in anxiety to cover curriculum while endangering the lives of learners as well as teachers.”


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