Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said 2014 would be a one-off.
“Under normal circumstances the opening of schools at the beginning of the year is staggered,” he said.
“Schools in the inland provinces open a week earlier than schools in the coastal provinces. In 2014 this will not be possible because of the number of pu-blic and school holidays in April.”
Between April 18 and May 1, there are five public holidays: Good Friday on the 18th, Easter Monday on 21st, Freedom Day on the 27th, a public holiday on the 28th and Workers’ Day on May 1.
“Usually, the Easter weekend would be included in the school holidays to mark the end of the first term. This will, however, not be possible in the 2014 school year because the Easter weekend is from 18 to 21 April,” Mhlanga said.
“If the end of the first term was to be inclusive of the Easter weekend, the first term would be 65 days, which is more than the average 52 days,” he said.