The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has confirmed the official school calendar for 2021, following a tumultuous start to the year. A return to the classroom was delayed twice, but in just six days’ time, our learners will resume their studies.
The details, published earlier on Tuesday, will finally give parents clear dates and times to work with. The ‘back to school’ launch remains on track, and the DBE have expressed confidence in their ability to deliver on the promised timetable.
What is the school calendar for 2021 in South Africa?
The first day back at school for our children will be on Monday 15 February, and the first term of the academic year finishes on Friday 23 April. Children then return to the classroom, after a week off, on Monday 3 May, and will continue their studies through to Friday 9 July. Following a two week break, school is back in session on Monday 26 July, until Friday 1 October.
Learners will then get a week off, before going back for the final stretch of schooling. That starts on Monday 11 October, and ends on Wednesday 15 December. The new school caldender for 2021 features a total of 192 school days, 40 weeks of classroom learning, and six public holidays to punctuate the next 10 months.
School timetable for this year: Days at school, public holidays, and term-time dates
|Duration||Number of weeks||Number of days||Number of Public Holidays||Actual number of school days|
|15 February – 23 April||10||50||3||47|
|3 May – 9 July||10||50||1||49|
|26 July – 1 October||10||50||2||48|
|11 October – 15 December||10||48||0||48|
- You can also see the full school calendar for 2021 here:
School calendar for 2021 ‘may still face problems’
However, the best-laid plans that went into creating the school calendar for 2021 are not invincible. With predictions of a ‘third wave’ of coronavirus now doing the rounds, there’s no guarantee that the timetable won’t be disrupted.
Schools also face the challenge of catching up on lost time. Before the previous resurgence in COVID-19, pupils were expected to complete 207 days in the classroom during this academic year. That’s already down to 192. Educators and senior officials face the mammoth task of making up for this shortfall in learning time.
Good morning Mzansi! Following changes to the opening of schools this year, we have amended the 2021 #schoolcalendar. This is the latest version for you to download and save 📚💡 @DBE_SA @ElijahMhlanga @HubertMweli @GovernmentZA #backtoschool #schoolsreopening pic.twitter.com/JN1Clt5ryS
— Dr Reginah Mhaule (@ReginahMhaule) February 9, 2021