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By: Justicia Shipena

The education ministry executive director, Sanet Steenkamp, said the ministry will give directives on how progress reports for the academic year of 2022 will be adjusted.

This comes as the ministry announced that the covid-19 pandemic changed the 2022 school calendar to two semesters.

Steenkamp told The Villager that the change avoids a spike in novel coronavirus cases during the winter season.

According to the new calendar, the first semester will commence on 09 January 2022, and the second semester will start on 25 July 2022.

Steenkamp said the change in the school calendar does not affect the number of school days and the December holiday.

“This will be the last year. The schools will be closing far out in December,” she said.

Steenkamp said because there was a surge in Covid-19 cases in the water season, there was a call from the public to revisit the school calendar.

“We have done an extensive and in-depth consultation with all regions, and we got various inputs.”

Steenkamp added that there would only be one break for the first six months of the year, and then there would be a six-week school holiday.

“We are fully aware that the six months are quite long, but it gives enough for the learners, teachers and parents to facilitate and oversee that the children get the required competencies,” she explained.

She said that they had taken note of all the test series and administrative issues of the classroom.

“It provides sufficient time for the teacher and learner to work on issues where the child needs to improve,” she said.

Steenkamp said there would be specific guidelines on how assessments will be conducted on all levels.

“Of course, children will still be writing test series in August/September and that they can use to apply for university or secondary school,” she said.

Speaking on Wednesday, Steenkamp said the school must have 195 teaching days, and it is being covered in the calendar.

“And that is the same with the hostels days which is about 265 days, and there are not affected on the new calendar. The public holidays are also incorporated as well as midterm breaks.”

She added that the new calendar requires a mindset change.

“It takes time for all of us to adjust to new things, and it requires us to look at things differently and ensure that this semester which is only two that we make the best of them before December,” she emphasized.

Previously, the school calendar had three semesters for the academic year.

Justicia Shipena

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