With the new year now in progress, the Department of Basic Education has released the official school calendar for 2021.
This comes after the department postponed the reopening of schools in January. The first term of school will now run from 15 February until 23 April 2021.
The rest of the school year will go as follows:
Term 2: 3 May – 9 July 2021
Term 3: 26 July – 1 October 2021
Term 4: 11 October – 15 December 2021
The reopening of schools was postponed during a media briefing on 15 January.
Basic Education Deputy Minister, Reginah Mhaule said the department had to be cautious because research found that the new Covid-19 variant found in South Africa affects old and young people.
“Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks, occasioned by increased Covid-19 infections which has led to the second wave, the council of education ministers in conjunction with the national coronavirus command council and cabinet has taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools by two weeks,” said Mhaule.
"CEM took this difficult decision, having considered all factors as backed up by research and statistics, regarding the current state of the health system. The priority remains saving lives."
Since then, the department restructured the return dates for teachers and learners.
School Management Teams (SMTs) were to report for duty on Monday, 25 January, while teachers returned on 1 February 2021.
Now, schools await the return of learners on 15 February in order to kickstart the new school year.