Have your urgent say on the School Holiday Calendar!
Did you know parents have a say in school holidays?
So the other day while having my morning coffee I came across the article of a parent tweeting the Department of Education asking them to revise the school calendar. This came as quite the shock to most, if not all the parents blazing social media with their comments. If this was known, and the Department of Education had educated us, then we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now having most of the provinces sharing holidays and affecting everyone and most importantly tourism negatively. It is such a massive problem that is being ignored! Bare with me as I rant and explain my view on why more parents must make their comments known!
"Remember school holidays are determined by parents not the Department of Education. The department publishes suggested dates and members of society are requested to comment. Normally few parents make submissions.” According to Spokesperson Elijah Mlanga digital platforms are the reason parents are becoming more unaware of the process and in such have expanded media channels to other platforms.
This is where we, at Things to do with kids, are urging parents to have their say and make sure that the school holidays across all the provinces differ. Tanya, our Cape Town blogger, feels strongly that Western Cape Holidays need to be in July. How many other parents feel this? In July the Western Cape is absolutely freezing and the average temperatures are reaching maximum temperatures of 12.8 degrees. Some children are fighting rain, wind and storms just to get to school and she feels this is not right. Besides this obvious fact of why holidays need to be staggered, the holidays being the same across all provinces, is already causing an unnecessary expense for holiday makers around the country. Tanya feels that they can never get a spot at popular destination like the Kruger Park with kids anymore and if they do, once there, it’s like being in peak JHB traffic instead of a relaxed bush adventure.
Over tourism - It’s a major issue to consider!
South African families might not realise this but the proposed unified date change by the Department of Basic Education’s proposed 2021 school calendar has a downside. It already has an enormous impact on the country, its people and its tourism and is only getting worse. By having all schools nationwide go on school holiday at the same time “undue pressure” is being created for the tourism industry and for holiday makers alike. So many people are losing money due to this and are having to pay higher peak rates in order to stay in any hotel as all school holiday periods are considered peak.
This also results in congested roads and hazardous traffic and increases already lengthy queues, overcrowding at popular attractions and holiday spots as well as an overall shorter peak season.
I was quite on the fence with this one as I thought it didn’t affect me with the parents deciding school holidays, as Mini Me is in an International school, but these arguments have raised much awareness on the already struggling tourism factor for me and this in turn directly affects me, International schools and Private Schools. We are already sitting with over populated hotels, resorts and restaurants… let alone beaches and other tourist attractions and no one seems to care? How will everything continue to be maintained and who will ensure all of the upkeep? This is causing a decline in South African Tourism and tourism to elsewhere from South Africans and is being ignored! How do you feel about it? Does this directly affect you with regards to Schools? Would you like a proposed change to take place? And… asking as the devils advocate, do you want South African Tourism to suffer by not having your say in the holidays? The proposed calendar can be accessed here. Go and have your say! Now!