Newspaper clipping – The Saturday Star – 18 April 2009

Long school holiday during World Cup

South African schools will enjoy an extended holiday break during the Fifa 2010 World Cup, after the Department of Education confirmed that the school calendar had been approved and gazetted.

The winter holidays, which normally last 15 days, will now be adjusted to 22 days to accommodate the World Cup in order to avoid pupil and teacher absenteeism, as well as a busy transport system during the busy period. The 2010 Local Organising Committee, along with the Transport Department, had asked for schools to be closed, citing traffic congestion as one of the reasons.

The Education Department had ensured that there will still be 195 school days in a year, as per the prescribed policy. Dr Granville Whittle, chief director of communications for the department, confirmed that 2010 would be a normal schooling year.

The extended holiday, from June 9 to July 13, falls at a crucial time for matriculants, who will be preparing for their mock exams. Whittle said:
            “Many of our schools have dedicated teachers and learners who utilize the June and September holidays to prepare Grade 11 and 12 learners for their final exams.”

Whittle said schools should use all available teaching and learning time optimally to ensure that the public holidays don’t impact negatively on pupils.