The new school calendar has been released for 2021 – Here’s when schools will reopen, and how the terms will run…

On Friday, Basic Education minister, Angie Motshekga released the gazetted revised school calendar for next year.

“Schools will reopen on 25 January 2021,” she said in a speech on Thursday when she was outlining the countdown to matric exams. Teachers will return to classrooms on 25 January, and learners will follow on 27 January, 2021.

“We have worked hard to ensure the calendar is done properly; taking into account the disruptions that have occurred in 2020.  We will need to carry over some of the curriculum work into 2021; and we have done our best to accommodate the interests of everybody.  But our priority, is the learner.”

Take a look at the new school calendar below:


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new school calendar for 2021
new school calendar for 2021


Matric exams begin in November this year

For this year, following interruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government was forced to reschedule the National Senior Certificate examinations.

“As we had already announced before, the June Senior Certificate (SC) examination was postponed, and will now be written together with the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination in November 2020,” noted Motshekga.

“The examination timetable for the combined June and November examination, had to be amended; so that this examination commences in November, instead of October 2020, as was initially planned.  The late start of the examination, is intended to allow as much time as possible to cover critical curriculum content, and to ensure that all examination processes are appropriately managed.”

Largest ever exam administered in SA!

“The combined examination, makes this the largest public examination that has been administered in our country,” said Motshekga.

More than 1 million (1 058, 699) candidates, will sit for the examinations.

“It is going to be a huge task, but one that we will need to ensure it is managed and coordinated smoothly.”

The writing of the 2020 NSC examination, will commence on 05 November 2020, and conclude on the 15 December 2020.

Extracurricular activities reintroduced

In her address, Motshekga said that since the country had entered alert Level 1, the government would like to reintroduce non-contact sports training and physical activities. These would have to be compliant with Covid-19 preventative measures. The government would be gazetting these new regulations shortly.

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