Pupils won't be neglected
Cape Town - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday that the school year would not be "drastically reduced" due to the school holidays during the World Cup.
"While this is an unusually long winter holiday, the Department of Education wished to allay the concerns of the public that the school year has been drastically reduced.
"This year the winter holiday is 22 days and it is usually 15," she told a media briefing.
The number of school days is set by law at between 195 and 200 days.
The 2010 school year will have 195 days.
"This year is thus a normal school year and we have started schools a week earlier to accommodate the slightly longer winter break."
Motshekga said the provinces had a number of programmes in place to prepare matriculants for final examinations during the five weeks of the World Cup.
"Provinces are offering a variety of interventions for matriculants, including help lines staffed by subject experts and winter schools for learners," she said.
"The World Cup soccer matches take place in the afternoons and evenings, so it is important that schools offer activities for learners that will engage them positively."
Motshekga said social workers would be at public viewing areas and in all host cities during the tournament. Child ambassadors had been appointed to be present at fan parks and in stadium precincts.
Child friendly spaces would be located in four of the FIFA Fan fests in three host cities during the World Cup.