DESPITE being officiated approximately a year ago, the dates of pupils returning back to their school for the 2019 academic year has caused a stir recently.According to the school calendar released by the Department of Education, pupils are set to return to their books on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.Many are finding this return to be too soon, especially since the fourth term for the 2018 academic year ends on Wednesday, December 12.Parents have also expressed their confusion regarding all the opening and closing dates of the 2019 academic yearTHE SCHOOL CALENDAR FOR 2019 IS AS FOLLOWS Term 1 — January 9 to March 15. Term 2 — April 2 to June 14. Term 3 — July 9 to September 20. Term 4 — October 1 to December 4Speaking to the Fever, some teachers said that they are not happy with the decision that the Department of Education has taken to open the schools early when they will close late this year.A Kwadinabakubo School grade 12 teacher who asked to remain anonymous said that these dates are very unfair to them because they won’t spend much needed time with their families. With schools closing on December 12, the second week of the month, that only leaves them with two weeks to spend with their loved ones.“It will be impossible to have some quality time with my family in this short space of time. There are so many things one would like to do but the time is limited and, to make thing worse, we are opening early next year,” he said.“I don’t spend much time with my children during the year because I dedicate all my time to the pupils, especially the matriculants who need all the special attention as they are leaving for varsity the following year and they need good results to be admitted for it,” he explained. Grade R teacher Nomthandazo Mnganga couldn’t agree more with his fellow teacher, saying: “The department does not realise that grade R teachers have so much work to do and they give us so little time to enjoy with our loved ones.” “We got into teaching because we have passion for it but not being given enough time to celebrate and enjoy the festive season with your families is something else,” she said.Mnganga said that they work hard during the year and, when it’s time to spend time with their loved ones, they have limited time to do it. “By the time the schools open we wouldn’t have rested at all because we also have to give time to our own children, who will also tire us. I want to enjoy the festive well,” complained the teacher.