If you don't already know, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has shortened the December holidays for this year, as it begins a process of reassessing the school calendar.
The government has called for comment on proposed changes to the school holiday calendar, which is said to make allowances for extra marking time by shortening the December holiday period. Overall a school year calendar is required to have 200 full days in it. Each school term cannot have less than 43 school days in it either, nor exceed 60 days.
The Department of Basic education (DBE) also stipulates that "when the calendar is planned, every effort must be made to ensure that there is no public holiday during the first or last week of a school term".
"Public holidays that occur during the first or last week of a school term disrupt the academic work of the school." says the DBE. "The fourth school term must end during the second week of December. For learners, the last school day must be a Wednesday, while the last work day for educators must be the Friday of the same week, says the DBE."
The Witness reports the decision, made by the Council of Education Ministers, is to ensure there was sufficient time for the school curriculum to be completed before teachers went off to mark matric examinations. Teacher unions, however, questioned the decision, highlighting the fact that this decision allows teachers far fewer days of leave.
The December 2018 holiday period is as follows:
Thursday, 13 December to Tuesday, 8 January 2019.
The December 2019 school holiday period is a s follows:
Wednesday, 5 December until Thursday, 7 January 2020.
TRAVEL PLANNING: How to use your Christmas leave to get the most out of the Christmas holidays.
There is still time to make the most of the up coming end of year break though. When it comes to big family breaks, let's face it, some holidays have gone better than others.
Early planning is the secret to avoiding the "oh crap, what am I going to do with the kids during three long weeks of school holidays" and switching on the Out of Office with ease as you enjoy making meaningful, holiday memories. Taking care of the admin in the long-term is the sure-fire way to know you and yours will have an epic holiday, come rain or shine. Here's all you need to know about the key peak periods to plan around in 2019.
TAKE A SHOT LEFT: 13 great South African spots to show your kids