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School calendar

The current and proposed school holidays for South Africa.

2020
2021
2022
2023
 

2021

1 August 2021

“(1) A risk adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the level of reported COVID-19 infections in the school, and COVID-19 infections in the district, municipality, and country.
(2) Primary schools (for learners in Grades R to 7) must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021: Provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, as contemplated in sub-direction (1), is implemented, and the minimum health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these  directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, are adhered to.
(3) Schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R to 12) must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021: Provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, as contemplated in sub-direction (1), is implemented, and all health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations are adhered to.

(4) (a) The social distancing measure in primary schools is reduced to one metre.
(b) Primary schools and schools for learners with special education needs that return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, as well as school hostels, must ensure strict compliance with social distancing measures and minimum health protocols, which include the wearing of face masks, the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizers, and must comply with safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations.”;(b) by the substitution for sub-direction (9) of the following sub-direction:

(9) In keeping with the risk adjusted differentiated strategy and all health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, a school that is unable to return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model which prefer to continue with a timetabling model, as contemplated in direction 16(2) and (3), must—
(a) by 6 August 2021, notify the Head of Department thereof, in writing, through the district office, and obtain the Head of Department’s approval to continue with a different timetabling model; and
(b) in the notification to the Head of Department, set out the steps taken to return to a traditional and daily attendance timetabling model and provide reasons for the decision to adhere to a differentiated timetabling model.; and
(c) by the addition after sub-direction (12) of the following sub-direction:

(13) A Member of the Executive Council responsible for education in a province that is unable to comply with the return date to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, as contemplated in direction 5A (2) and (3), must, as soon as possible, submit a report to the Minister, in writing, on the non-compliance for the Minister’s concurrence or further determination, which report must include—
(i) the reasons for the non-compliance; and
(ii) a plan with the proposed dates for the return of learners to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, which details the steps that will be taken in each school to ensure that learners are able to return safely to school,
and thereafter provide a progress  report to the  Department of Basic Education, every two weeks, on the implementation of the plans.

11.    Sport and extracurricular activities
(1) Subject to sub-directions (5) and (6), and in compliance with social distancing, hygiene and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, contact sport, non-contact sport, including training, intra-school and inter-school matches, and all
arts and culture intra-school and inter-school activities, may resume without any spectators.
(2) Co-curricular and enrichment programmes, such as oral history, spelling bee, moot court, speech contests, debates and school clubs, may resume activities including competitive inter-school events and engagements, without any spectators.
(3) Choir practice or rehearsals and choir competitions may resume in well ventilated areas or outdoors with all participants maintaining social distancing, without any spectators.
(4) National, provincial, district championships and tournaments for both contact and non-contact sport that require learners to travel to other schools or provinces may resume with strict adherence to prescribed transport regulations and directions.
(5) The following safety measures must be adhered to when resuming the activities contemplated in this direction:
(a) The number of persons in venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, at any given time, must not be more than 50% of the capacity of the venue with persons observing the social distancing requirements;
(b) for outdoor activities, the total number of persons, including participants, officials and other personnel must not exceed 100 and for indoor activities the number of persons must not exceed 50.
(c) face masks must be worn by all persons entering the venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, except when participating in training or matches;
(d) there must be sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers, with at least 70% alcohol content, available for use by all officials, coaches, assistants, learners and participants;
(e) there must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water;
(f) all windows and doors must remain open, where feasible, to ensure adequate ventilation;
(g) social distancing must be maintained at all times; and
(h) the sharing of drinks and drink containers is not allowed.
(6) The school or venue hosting the events or activities must ensure that venues, tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized before and after any activities.

25 July 2021:  Schools will be reopened on the 26th July 2021. The Cabinet member responsible for basic education may, in directions, further announce measures related to the management and reduction of risk at schools in the basic education sector, in order to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19.

27 June 2021: Schools will start closing from Wednesday, 30 June. Public schools will come back from the winter vacation early, on 19 July 2021, instead of 26 July 2021 as it was originally scheduled in the 2021 School Calendar.

9 February 2021: Latest amended school calendar [PDF]

22 January 2021:  Re-opening of schools for the 2021 Academic Year under Adjusted Alert Level 3 (Gazette 44096)

15 January 2021 update: The reopening of both public and private schools will be delayed with two weeks. This includes private schools that have reopened already. They will need to postpone their reopening to a later date.

The new dates for the reopening of private schools will vary depending on the calendar that they follow.

For public schools and private schools which follow the same calendar, changes are as follows:

  • School Management Teams (SMTs) shall report for duty on Monday, 25 January 2021;
  • Teachers shall follow on Monday, 01 February 2021; and
  • Lastly, learners return on Monday, 15 February 2021.

The Department of Basic Education gazetted the updated 2021 school calendar on 16 February 2021 (Gazette 44162)

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(25 Jan) (01) 15 Feb – 23 Apr(13) (12) 10(65) (60) 50

3

(62) (57) 47

2

3 May – 9 Jul

10

50

1

49

3

26 Jul – 01 Oct

10

50

2

48

4

11 Oct – 15 (15) Dec

10

48 (48)

0

48 (48)

 

Total

(43) (42) 40

(213) (208) 198

6

(207) (202) 192

Public and School Holidays 2021

1 January: New Year’s Day
21 March: Human Rights Day
22 March: Public Holiday
02 April: Good Friday
05 April: Family Day
27 April: Freedom Day
26 April: School Holiday
1 May: Workers’ Day
16 June: Youth Day
9 August: National Women’s Day
24 September: Heritage Day
1 November: Local government elections
16 December: Day of Reconciliation
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Day of Goodwill
27 December: Public holiday

Source: National Education Policy Act: 2021 school calendar for public schools [PDF]

2022

The Department of Basic Education published the school calendar for 2022 on 28 May 2021.

Inland cluster: Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(10) 12 Jan - 17 Mar10

47 (49)

0

47 (49)

2

5 Apr – 24 Jun

12

59

5+1

53

3

19 Jul – 30 Sept

11

54

1+1

52

4

11 Oct – 14 (15) Dec

10

47 (48)

0

47 (48)

 

Total

42

207 (210)

6+2

199 (202)

Coastalcluster: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Ntal, Northern Cape, Western Cape

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(17) 19 Jan - 25 Mar10

48 (50)

1

47 (49)

2

5 Apr – 24 Jun

12

59

5+1

53

3

19 Jul – 30 Sept

11

54

1+1

52

4

11 Oct – 14 (15) Dec

10

47 (48)

0

47 (48)

 

Total

43

208 (211)

7+2

199 (202)

Public and School Holidays 2022

1 January: New Year’s Day
21 March: Human Rights Day
15 April: Good Friday
18 April: Family Day
27 April: Freedom Day
1 May: Workers’ Day
2 May: Public holiday (Workers’ Day observed)
16 June: Youth Day
17 June: School Holiday
8 August: School Holiday
9 August: National Women’s Day
24 September: Heritage Day
16 December: Day of Reconciliation
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Day of Goodwill
27 December: Public holiday

Source: National Education Policy Act:  Proposed 2022 school calendar for public schools [PDF]

2023

The Department of Basic Education published the draft school calendar for 2023 on 25 June 2021.

Inland cluster: Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(09) 11 Jan - 24 Mar11

53(55)

1+1

51 (53)

2

12 Apr – 23 Jun

11

53

3+1

49

3

18 Jul – 29 Sept

11

54

2

52

4

10 Oct – 13 (15) Dec

10

47 (49)

0

47 (49)

 

Total

43

207 (211)

6+2

199 (203)

Coastalcluster: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Ntal, Northern Cape, Western Cape

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(16) 18 Jan - 31Mar11

53(55)

1+1

51(53)

2

12 Apr – 23 Jun

11

53

3+1

49

3

18 Jul – 29 Sept

11

54

2

52

4

10 Oct – 13(15) Dec

10

47 (49)

0

47 (49)

 

Total

43

207 (211)

6+2

199 (203)

Public and School Holidays 2023

1 January: New Year’s Day
2 January: Public holiday
20 March: Special school holiday
21 March: Human Rights Day
7 April: Good Friday
10 April: Family Day
27 April: Freedom Day
28 April: Special school holiday
1 May: Workers’ Day
16 June: Youth Day
9 August: National Women’s Day
24 September: Heritage Day
25 September: Public holiday
16 December: Day of Reconciliation
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Day of Goodwill
27 December: Public holiday

Source: National Education Policy Act:  Proposed 2023 school calendar for public schools [PDF]

2020

National State of Disaster

Re-opening of schools

The Department of Basic Education published the consolidated examination timetable on 12 August 2020.

The Department of Basic Education published the amended school calendar for 2020 on 11 August 2020.

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(13) 15 Jan - 18 Mar10

48 (46)

0

48 (46)

2

(1 Jun) 8 Jun - 24 Jul

8 (7)

(40) 35

1

(39) 34

3

24 Aug - 23 Oct

9

45

1

44

4

2 Nov - 15 Dec

7

32

0

32

 

Total

(34) 33

(165) 158

2

(163) 156

All public schools will break from 27 July 2020 and the school arrangements after the break are as follows:

Week

Date

School arrangements after break

1

27 - 31 Jul 2020- The principal and the School Management Team will determine the staffing requirements to ensure compliance with the health, safety and social distancing requirements and to assist with the distribution of learning material and the roll out of the daily school feeding programme for all qualifying learners.
- The principal and the School Management Team must be on duty to make arrangements for the receipt of the learners anticipated in the weeks ahead.
- Schools will remain open for feeding of qualifying learners in terms of the National School Nutrition Programme.

2

3 – 7 Aug 2020- Grade 12 and Schools of Skill: Year 4 learners will return to school on 3 August 2020.
- Grade 12 and Schools of Skill: Year 4 teachers (and teacher support staff) will return to school on 3 August 2020.
- The principal and the School Management Team (as required) will be in attendance at school.
- Officials (as identified by the principal and the School Management Team) will return to school on 3 August 2020, to assist in ensuring compliance with the health, safety and social distancing requirements and to assist in the distribution of learning material and the roll-out of the daily school feeding programme for all qualifying learners.

3

11–14 Aug 2020- Grade 7 learners will return to school on 11 August 2020.
- Grade 7 officials (and teacher support staff) will return to school on 11 August 2020.
- The principal and the School Management Team (as required) will be in attendance at school.
- Officials, who are at school, will assist in ensuring compliance with the health, safety and social distancing requirements and to assist in the distribution of learning material and the roll-out of the daily school feeding programme for all qualifying learners.

4

17– 21 Aug 2020- All officials will report for duty on 17 August 2020 to prepare for the return of learners in the remaining grades.
- Grade 7; Grade 12; and Schools of Skill: Year 4 learners and officials will already be at school.
- Officials who are already at school will assist in ensuring compliance with the health, safety and social distancing requirements and to assist in the distribution of learning material and the roll-out of the daily school feeding programme for all qualifying learners.

5

24 Aug 2020(a) Learners in the following grades, years or schools will return to school on 24 August 2020:
- Grade R; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; and Grade 6;
-Grade 9; Grade 10; and Grade 11;
- Schools of Skill: Year 1; Year 2; and Year 3;
- Schools with Learners with Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (“LSPID”): Year 1; Year 2; and Year 3;
- Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (“SID”): Grade R; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; and final year (Occupational); and
- Schools with autistic learners: Junior group (below 13 years); Senior Group (13 years and above); and final year (18 years and above).
(b) The school must ensure compliance with the health, safety and social distancing requirements in accommodating this group of learners.
631 Aug 2020Learners in the following grades or schools will return to school on 31 August 2020:
- Grade 5 and Grade 8; and
- Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (“SID”): Grade 4 and Grade 5.

(Gazette 43372 of 29 May 2020 as amended by Gazette 43381 of 1 June 2020 and Gazette 43488 of 29 June 2020)

Schools were closed from Wednesday, 18 March and started re-opening from 1 June 2020. Schools were again closed from 27 July to 24 August.

School calendar (before Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic)

The Department of Basic Education published the school calendar for 2020 on 11 January 2018.

Term

Duration

Number of weeks

Number of days

Number of public holidays

Actual number of school days

1

(13) 15 Jan - 20 Mar10

48 (50)

0

48 (50)

2

31 Mar – 12 Jun

11

54

4

50

3

7 Jul – 18 Sep

11

54

1

53

4

29 Sep – 2 (4)Dec

10

47 (49)

0

47 (49)

 

Total

42

203 (207)

5

198 (202)

Public and School Holidays 2020

1 January: New Year’s Day
21 March: Human Rights Day
10 April: Good Friday
13 April: Family Day
27 April: Freedom Day
1 May: Workers’ Day
16 June: Youth Day
9 August: National Women’s Day
10 August: Public Holiday
24 September: Heritage Day
16 December: Day of Reconciliation
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Day of GoodwillSource: National Education Policy Act: 2020 school calendar for public schools [PDF]