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The Education Sector
Hentie Gericke

The academic year won’t push into 2021. The school year for grades R to
11 will complete on 15 December 2020 with a short break between 26 and 30 October. The new terms are Term 3: 24 August – 23 October and Term 4: 2 November – 15 December.

Matric exams will also be concluded by 15 December, the department said, with marking expected to be done by 22 January 2021, and the results released on 23 February 2021.

The new school year will commence on 25 January 2021 for teachers – and for pupils a few days later.

In the Eastern Cape, Mary Bothma reports: “Schools with own funding are requesting quotations for budget purposes since August, and we find that they are careful and cost sensitive in what they are ordering. We find that some schools are opting to replenish textbooks although they had introduced tablets which they are phasing in”. 

In Gauteng, Johnny Koster reports: Covid-19 made everything slow, confused and late. Schools can’t be visited. Booksellers make use of emails and phone calls to schools.

In KwaZulu-Natal Guru Redhi references the “new normal” and that Booksellers have sadly expressed like most industries, they are in survival mode and one can only hope that as the economy gradually opens up, turnover and profitability would improve. 

In the Western Cape online ordering has gone live from 1 June – 12 June 2020 for the ordering of Top Up CAPS textbooks for grades 1 – 12 for 2021. Alternatively the school can still continue to order their textbooks from their booksellers should they not order online within the stipulated timeframe. 

While scholars may be under pressure to not loose this academic year, very interesting times lie ahead since this pandemic has clearly demonstrated how vulnerable our education system is.

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