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Changes For School Calendars In South Africa



Changes For School Calendars In South Africa

Changes For School Calendars In South Africa. The Department of Basic Education in South Africa has recently announced significant revisions to the school calendar policy, aiming to adapt to evolving circumstances and ensure flexibility in scheduling amidst unforeseen events. This updated policy, gazetted by the department, marks a notable shift from the previous version issued in 2015.

While maintaining the core framework, the new provisions introduced in the policy are poised to empower the department and the minister to address dynamic challenges effectively.

Adaptation in Response to Unforeseen Events

One of the pivotal changes in the updated policy is the inclusion of provisions allowing the Minister to authorize deviations from the standard calendar under exceptional circumstances.

This crucial amendment provides the necessary flexibility to accommodate unforeseen events such as national emergencies or crises, as evidenced by the significant adjustments made during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Revised Closure Guidelines for Fourth Term

In a subtle yet impactful alteration, the policy now stipulates a revised timeline for the closure of the fourth term. Previously, the term concluded during the second week of December, with specific days earmarked for learners and educators. However, the revised policy mandates the fourth term to end within the first full school week of December.

Moreover, educators are now required to conclude their duties two school days later following the closure for learners, ensuring a more streamlined approach to term closures.

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Embracing Digital Communication Channels

Acknowledging the evolving landscape of communication, particularly in the digital sphere, the updated policy reflects a progressive shift towards leveraging online platforms for disseminating calendar changes.

Unlike the previous reliance on government gazettes and newspapers for official notices, the new policy authorizes the department to utilize social media channels and government websites to notify stakeholders promptly.

This adaptation not only aligns with contemporary communication trends but also enhances accessibility and transparency in sharing crucial information.


In essence, the revised school calendar policy in South Africa underscores a proactive approach by the Department of Basic Education to navigate uncertainties and ensure the smooth functioning of the education system.

By incorporating provisions for flexibility, refining closure guidelines, and embracing digital communication channels, the policy aims to foster resilience and adaptability in responding to future challenges effectively.

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