Longer school day for Grade 1, 2
Johannesburg - Pupils entering Grade 1 and 2 across the country next year can expect a longer school day, the basic education ministry said on Tuesday.
"The school day will be half an hour longer," said ministerial spokesperson Hope Mokgatlhe, adding this was mainly to accommodate the teaching of a second language in Grade 1.
"We are introducing the language of learning from next year. English will be introduced at Grade 1 level."
For some schools in the Western Cape, Afrikaans would be the first additional language taught.
Mokgathle said that before English was only being introduced at Grade 3 and many students subsequently struggled to become fluent in it. Yet it remained a crucial language as it was the language in which the school curriculum was taught and tested in South Africa.
Mokgathle said that the school day could not be longer than six hours for the foundation phase.
Previously, literacy, was taught over nine hours and ten minutes a week. From next year, ten hours of class time would be split between the teaching of each of the two languages.
Instruction time for mathematics would decrease from seven hours and 30 minutes a week, to seven hours.
Life skills would now be taught over six hours a week, an increase of a half an hour of instruction time.
She said that individual schools would decide on how they wanted to shape their time-tables in accordance with the changes rung in by the new curriculum and assessment policy statement (CAPS).