School holidays are an essential part in a learner's calendar in any academic year. Students ideally get to rest and recuperate as they wait to continue with their education whether it is starting a new year or it is just a continuation of your current school year. They get to spend more time with family building those bonds that will be with you for the rest of their lives. The South African school calendar 2018 outlines the holidays that students are entitled.
In this article, we have given all the details on each holiday and which students are entitled to it. Read on.
The South African education system
The 2018 school terms ins South Africa is not synonymous with all the schools in the country. It encompasses both public and private schools. The two distinct types of schools operate under different calendars. However, there are some shared characteristics in the two schedules. Let us first look at those characteristics in the 2018 school calendar for both private and public schools.
1. The number of terms in a year
The calendars are the same when it comes to the number of terms. Both private and public school calendars had 4 terms. The first term started in January and the last term in October.
2. Public holidays
In 2018, both types of schools had an equal number of public holidays where students were exempted from studying. According to tradition, public holidays are holidays that should be respected, and no one is under obligation to be in school. For example, all students had April 30th as a day off school.
Public school calendar
In South Africa. It is the responsibility of the Minister of Basic Education in consultation with the Council of Education Ministers to decide and publish the official school year calendar. The public schools as stated had four terms in a single year. The difference between them and the private schools is the number of days. You should note that all the nine regions including the Gauteng school holidays were the same since they shared the same calendar for the 2018 period.
For the first term, public schools resumed studies on the 7th of January, 2018. Students spent a total of 50 days in school. The students went on holiday on the 15th March, 2018 and stayed for 17 days before resuming their studies on the 2nd of April for their second term. During the first term, there were no holidays available for the students in between the term as there were no public holidays for that period. The second term saw them spend a total of 46 days in school. That is excluding the three public holidays and one school holiday on the 30th of April, 2018. The public holidays were Freedom Day (27th of April) and Workers’ Day (1st of May). The third term had one public holiday that came on the 9th of August (National Women’s Day). Students were in school for 53 days. The fourth term has no public holidays. However, it is short as students study for 49 days. This brings the total number of school days to 203 days a year. That is excluding the public holidays, weekends and also the designated holiday periods.
Private school calendar
The Independent Schools Association of South Africa is the body that is mandated to provide the school calendar for the private owned learning institutions of South Africa. They set out the term dates to be adhered to by all schools under its wing while also highlighting the 2018 school holidays. You should note that private school holidays South Africa also vary in private schools considering the calendar the school chooses to adopt. They may opt to use the four-term or the three-term calendar option.
The private schools' first term started on the 17th of January. That is ten days after the public school students resumed their studies. The students spent a total of 50 days in schools. The students went for the holiday on 3rd March. During this term, they encountered one public holiday (Human Rights Day) which was on March 21st. They resumed studies on the 17th of April for their second term. The second term had 46 school days. That is excluding the three public holidays that came in that term. The public holidays were Freedom Day (27th of April), Workers’ Day (1st of May), and also the Youth Day which falls on the 16th of June. There was also one school holiday (On the 30th) that came in the period between the term dates. This School holiday is for both public and private schools. The third term had one public holiday that came on the 9th of August, the National Women’s Day and one school holiday which came on Friday 10th, August. The students were in school for 47 days. The fourth term has no public holidays. However, it is short as students study for 43 days. This brings the total number of school days to 186 days and nine Saturdays in a year.
For the three-term calendar, the first term sees students in school for 56 days. The schools resumed studies on the 17th of January 2018 and students went for holidays on the 11th of April 2018. However, there was a half-term break for six days. There was only one public holiday, The Human Rights Day on the 21st of March, 2018.
Students then went on a month-long break and resumed for the second term on May 2nd, 2018. They went all the way until the 3rd of August, 2018. Then, students went for a ten day half term break in between the term from the 22nd of June till the 2nd of July. This term saw students study for 63 days. There was one public holiday on the 16th of June 2018, the Youth Day.
The third term would resume a month later on the 4th September, and it is poised to run all the way till the 6th December, 2018. There was a six-day half term break from the 18th October til the 23rd of October 2018. And on the 24th of September, 2018, the Heritage day was celebrated as a public holiday across the country.
Now that you know of the South African school holidays, you can better plan how you will utilize them. Whether a student, parent or teacher, there is always going to be something positive that comes out of these holidays.
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