1. The WCED has noted with concern the failure of some schools to observe the regulations pertaining to the maximisation and optimal use of teaching and learning time generally, and especially during assessment and/or examination periods.
2. Numerous complaints and expressions of concern continue to be received by the WCED from various parties with respect to the erosion of time which ought to be utilised fully for the benefit of learners' learning.
3. The WCED wishes to emphasise its belief - proven by research - that the optimal use of all school days and all notional hours is an important factor impacting on high learner achievement. It also consolidates an orderly, learning-centred ethos at a school.

4. All officials at schools and education district offices are requested to note the following:
4.1 It is the responsibility of each school to plan its school programme for the period during and after the assessment and/or examinations until the last day of the school term, and to inform all learners and parents accordingly.
4.2 School days during the June, September or end-of-year examinations should NOT end earlier than 13:00 for learners. Learners should continue to receive instructional support and consolidation throughout the period.
4.3 Schools should ensure that all learners attend school on all days, irrespective of whether or not they are involved in assessment or writing of examinations. Instructional time should be used effectively, especially to ensure that curriculum coverage is in line with the pacesetters.
4.4 Schools should plan their examinations in such a way that no learners involved finish earlier than 13:00. To ensure that instructional time is eroded as little as possible, examinations for Grades 10 - 12 should not extend beyond 14 days.
4.5 Under no circumstances may learners, including learners at boarding houses/hostels, be allowed to end the term earlier.
4.6 Under no circumstances may schools inform learners that it is the learners' decision whether or not to come to school after the examinations have been concluded for the term or when they are not writing tests/examinations.
4.7 It is expected that all educators will attend the full school day every day during this period (35 hours per week) irrespective of whether or not they have invigilation duties.
4.8 Education district officials will conduct moderation processes at sampled schools, as determined by the districts.

5. Education district officials will monitor the implementation of these directives. Principals and school governing bodies are requested to pay special attention to the development of their programmes for the period referred to, so that valuable time for learning is not wasted.

DATE: 2009:05:04