Comment has been requested on the proposed public-school calendar for 2021: Call for comments
The Department of Education has proposed that all public schools share the same school holidays countrywide: Proposed 2021 calendar.
Since 2016, all nine provinces have the same school calendar. Prior to 2016, coastal and inland summer school holidays were staggered by one (1) week.
AAVEA would request that the school calendar revert to the staggered school holidays of previous years.
This would provide several benefits:
- Domestic tourism is a key driver of the South African tourism industry. Staggering school holidays, particularly the summer school holidays, would extend the domestic tourism season thus critically supporting this industry.
- Demand for accommodation, local flights, long distance bus trips and camp sites would be spread across a broader time span. This would increase the opportunity for domestic visitors to enjoy their own country and reducing the costs for domestic travelers.
- Inter-provincial traffic would be spread over a broader time span, thus reducing traffic on the roads leading to lower accident rates.
- Staggering school holidays would result in a longer peak season. A lengthened peak season increases the sustainability of tourism and results in job growth.
- South African Tourism and local tourism bodies spend much time and energy trying to reduce seasonality. The beginning of December and end of January are traditionally quieter travel months for international tourists. Seasonality for all in the tourism industry could thus be significantly increased by staggering coastal and inland holidays. Even one week would make a significant difference.
- AAVEA is not advocating that the number of days at school be reduced, merely that the inland and coastal school holidays are staggered. This would benefit domestic travellers, road safety and the domestic tourism industry.
All interested persons and organisations are invited to comment on the Proposed 2021 School Calendar, in writing, and direct the comments to the Director-General for Department of Basic Education,for the attention of Mr S Mlambo, e-mail: email@example.com; cc: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be received by 13 April.