The Department of Basic Education has released the proposed school calendar for 2025.
The school calendar of 2025 – from January 15 to December 12 – only 200 school days. Although there are more school holidays expected this year compared to 2024 (27 vs. 25), this is still less than in previous years.
The 2025 school year also marks the deadline for two big changes for South African schools and students: the coding and robotics curriculum is expected to be in full swing, and the general education certificate is expected to be fully rolled out.
The department plans to fully implement coding and robotics as new school subjects for students in grades R-3 and 7 in the 2023 school year.
The pilot program for these subjects was initially introduced in some schools in the third semester of the 2021 academic year, it said. In the following years, it is planned to expand these technical subjects to other classes.
A coding and robotics pilot for grades 4-6 and grade 8 was planned for 2022, followed by a pilot for grade 9 in 2023. Full implementation for grades 4-6 and 8 is planned for 2024, with grade 9 in 2025, the department said.
Certificate of general education
The department plans to introduce a Grade 9 General Education Certificate (GEC) which will allow students to have some form of pre-matric qualification.
“The main purpose of the certificate will be to facilitate post-9 subject choices and linkages between schools and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as a low line of the school accountability system,” the department said.
In January 2022, the department said it would trial the new certificate in hundreds of South African schools this year, with plans to roll out the certificate to all schools in the country by the 2024 school year.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said extensive consultation around the certificate had already taken place with stakeholders, partners and experts on the most suitable model for GEC, and public comments had been considered when the policy was introduced.
The proposed calendar for 2025
Calendars for 2023 and 2024 have been confirmed
The proposed 2025 calendar is consistent with the department’s 2024 calendar released last week.
The 2024 public school calendar begins on January 17, 2024 and ends on December 11, providing a total of 203 school days – four more than 2022 and 2023.
There will also be fewer school holidays in 2024, with only 25 days off in the calendar, compared to 32 days in 2023 and 33 days in 2022.
To achieve this, the 2024 calendar is structured in such a way that school terms are not interspersed with many public holidays, with schools only losing two days to public holidays – one day each in terms two and three. In 2022 and 2023, students lost eight days for public holidays.
Most public holidays in 2024 will fall during the school holidays. The department has had to make these changes to the calendar to compensate for learning losses experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely reduced teaching opportunities and student hours.
The confirmed calendars are below:
School calendar for 2023
School calendar for 2024
Read: Big changes to schooling in South Africa