long holiday TO CURB 2010 BUNKING

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

The national Department of Education has posted a proposal for comment on its website that suggests a five-week break for schools during the 2010 Fifa World Cup games.

The plan for the long break is aimed at "avoiding bunking by both pupils and teachers" during the soccer games.

The proposed school calendar has been gazetted and placed on the department's website, www.education.gov.za, and can be found under the heading, Scholar Information.

"In the proposed calendar, the number of school days has not changed. What has changed is the time when schools break," chief director for national and provincial co-ordination Sihle Mlambo said.

"In every school calendar, a teacher should be in class between 195 and 200 days."

The department proposes that the usual three- to four-week winter break in June and July is extended and suggests that coastal and inland public schools close from June 9 to July 13.

"We are trying to avoid congestion on the roads and absenteeism," Mlambo said.

"What we have to remember is that pupils will go to school for the required amount of time."

Mlambo said certain policies were taken into account when the calender was drawn up and teacher unions, the hospitality industry and the Department of Transport were consulted.

The World Cup opening ceremony will be held on June 12 and the last game is scheduled for July 10.