By Kaya 959 Reporter
The Department of Basic Education is planning to cancel the October school holidays. DBE spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga said they are in talks with stakeholders about the plans.
A decision on the matter has not been finalised. Mhlanga said an announcement will be made on any planned changes.
The idea is to make up for lost time stemming from the various lockdowns in the country.
However, teacher unions have slammed the idea. They claim that they were not consulted.
SAOU spokesperson Stephan van den Berg said the Committee of Education Ministers and Heads of Departments Committee had already decided on the matter.
“The third and fourth terms would be separated by a long weekend by declaring September 23 a school holiday,” he said.
Teachers are stressed
Governing Body Foundation CEO Dr Anthea Cereseto said they reject the idea.
“Our members involved in the schools on a daily basis are outraged by the proposal which shows no understanding of the realities in schools,” she said.
Cereseto said teachers were already stressed with having to catch up with the curriculum and other changes made at schools as well as the trauma of losing staff and family.
She said both teachers and learners have put in the long hours and extra days to catch up.
“Schools have worked out how they will cover the curriculum and where extra days have been needed for the grade 11s and 12s, they have planned ‘spring schools’.
“Cancelling the October holidays will result in a longer fourth term which will only add to the stress for both staff and children. This will negate the gain of a few extra school days, as teaching and learning does not occur optimally under such conditions,” she said.
The GBF believes the inconvenience this creates for staff members and parents who, once again, have plans and bookings for holidays disrupted.
“It is not worth it for a few extra school days. Some partners of staff members who are not employed at schools have negotiated with their employers to have leave that coincides with the school holidays, and now this will not happen. All this inconvenience just to gain a few extra school days,” she said.