The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has been forced to adjust its school calendar following the announcement of a new public holiday. The adjustment to the school calendar means that the original school closing date has been changed by the education department, shortening the academic year.
Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that 15 December 2023 will be a public holiday. The announcement came after South Africa’s rugby team, the Springboks triumphed at the 2024 Rugby World Cup in France.
In celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement and the achievements of all our other sportsmen and women – and as a tribute to the resolve of our united nation – I am declaring Friday the 15th of December 2023 as a public holiday.
The announcement from the president has forced the DBE to make adjustments to the school calendar. According to the initial publication, the fourth term of the 2023 school year was slated to conclude on Wednesday, 13 December 2023 for learners and Friday, 15 December 2023 for teachers.
School Closing Dates
However, due to the newly declared public holiday, teachers are required to remain for two additional days after the learners have completed their term. Consequently, the updated closing dates are now set for Tuesday, 12 December 2023, for learners and Thursday, 14 December 2023, for teachers.
Teachers must remain for two days after the learners have closed in order to complete administrative tasks and planning for the following school year. Therefore the schools will close on Tuesday, 12 December for learners and Thursday, 14 December 2023 for teachers.
When Are Schools Closing?
The DBE says the adjustment to the school closing date ensures that teachers have sufficient time to undertake essential administrative tasks and plan for the upcoming school year. As a result, the total number of school days for learners will be 198, while teachers will have 202 school days in the 2023 academic year.
All stakeholders within the education sector are urged to take note of this amendment to the 2023 School Calendar, as it impacts the closing dates for the fourth term. The government emphasises the importance of adherence to these changes to facilitate a smooth transition into the 2024 academic year. The school calendar for 2024 has been finalised.