School holidays determined by parents, not education dept, says Lesufi

School holidays determined by parents, not education dept, says Lesufi

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The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) is looking at expanding communication with stakeholders on school calendars.

School holidays are not determined by the department of education, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi reminded the public on Monday.

The statement came after he received a tweet from a parent, asking the department of education to revise the school calendar, reports Benoni City Times.

“The department publishes suggested dates and members of society are requested to comment. Normally few parents make submissions,” said Lesufi on a tweet reply.

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Department of basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga has confirmed that, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, acting under section 3(4)(k) of the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (No. 27 of 1996), the policy provides for the public to be invited to submit comments on the proposed calendar for a particular year.

“It also specifies that the proposed and approved calendars must be published in the Government Gazette and newspapers,” said Mhlanga.

“The department has experienced a gradual decline in the number of public comments received for the proposed school calendars,” he added.

Mhlanga stated that they have now expanded media channels to other platforms.

“We believe the decline in public input is directly linked to the emergence of digital platforms,” he said.

In tweet replies, members of the public stated that they had no idea about the existence of the policy.

The Proposed 2021 School Calendar for Public Schools can be accessed on the department’s website: https://bit.ly/2FrwRbK

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