At the weekend, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced new school dates for when it planned for this year’s curriculum to end. To that end, the school year is currently planned to end on 15th December, with it applying for Grades R to 11. As for Grade 12 students, and the 2020 Matric exams, the DBE has now provided more clarity.

Here, the examinations are also planned to end on 15th December, with the DBE provided guidance as far as the marking and release of results, but the margins are quite fine in that regard.

The DBE says marking of the 2020 Matric exams will be completed by 22nd January of 2021, and results will be released on 23rd February. As such it does not leave much time for those students who have not received provisional acceptance as of yet, and plan to apply with their end of year results for post-Matric studies.

For those students still at primary and high school, the 2021 academic year will start up again on 25th January.

How learners, educators, schools and institutions will deal with these truncated timeframes, remains to be seen, but either way it looks like the country’s education system faces some serious challenges in the coming months if it indeed intends on meeting the curriculum requirements for the heavily impacted 2020 academic year.

There are also expected to be more directions given later this week by the basic education minister.

“The Minister will issue directions for the basic education sector this coming week. The directions will provide guidance on various matters affecting the basic education sector,” a statement explained.

“The department considered the impact of the decision on the current calendar. The policy process to amend the school calendar commenced taking into account the urgency of the matter as necessitated by the prevalent COVID-19 environment,” it adds

As with many of the decisions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown for the education sector, this latest one will prove divisive.

[Image – Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash]