DBE cautioned on proposal to remove school holidays – Bax Nodada

DA MP says dept cannot simply suspend learners’ holidays, it needs to find other ways to catch up on lost time

DA cautions the DBE on proposal to remove October school holidays 

19 August 2021

The DA calls on the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to revoke its proposal to remove the October school holidays from the academic calendar.

Reports indicate that the DBE seeks to cancel the October school holidays as an attempt to catch up on lost curriculum.

While it is important to implement strategies to catch up on lost time, the Department cannot simply suspend learners’ holidays. Holidays play a crucial role in allowing learners to take much needed time off, which is crucial to ensuring good mental health and will aid the learner in their preparation for the following term to come.

Instead of once again disrupting the academic year and putting learners and teachers of risk of burnout, the DBE should look at the importance of finding innovative ways to catch up on lost time.

The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education to highlight the following:

Request that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revoke the proposal to cancel October holidays.

Invite the University of Cape Town to present to the committee on the opportunities and challenges of their new online school, and on how virtual schools could solve the chronic challenges faced by the sector.

Instead of making unilateral decisions without the inputs of teachers, parents, learners and other stakeholders, the Department should’ve looked to find innovative solutions that can be implemented to assist the sector in navigating the new challenges posed by Covid-19 and its various variants.

Unless we find proper strategies to catch up on the curriculum, prevent further dropouts and fix dilapidating infrastructure, Covid will continue to disrupt the proper functioning of our schools.

Issued by Bax Nodada, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, 19 August 2021