WCED says new calendar 'causes chaos'
Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has criticised the publishing of a new 2020 school calendar in the absence of gazetted dates, saying it had caused chaos and confusion for matric pupils.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) released an amended school calendar on Saturday, which would see schools reopening on August 24 following a four-week break.
In terms of the new version of the calendar, the school year will be completed on December 15 for grades R to 11.
Grade 12 examinations will be completed by this time and results will be released on February 23.
The 2021 school year will commence on January 25 for teachers and pupils a few days later.
DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said: “The calendar will be gazetted and published (this week).
"The minister will issue directions for the basic education that will provide guidance on various matters affecting the basic education sector.”
Educational MEC Debbie Schäfer said the publishing of a new calendar while failing to gazette directions had caused more chaos in the system, with people now unsure whether matrics had to return today.
“According to the current gazetted directions schools can bring more grades back if they can comply with the protocols, so they are complying with the law,” said Schäfer.
Teacher unions the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) and The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said they cautiously welcomed a few aspects of the new calendar but still had many concerns.
Naptosa president Basil Manuel said: “We need finalisation of the directions in terms of how classes are returning."