KUALA LUMPUR: The start date for school sessions in the country will revert to January from 2026, says Fadhlina Sidek.
The Education Minister said the ministry has started its efforts to return the school session earlier for the 2024/2025 academic calendar, which will start in February 2025 to allow for the school session to start in January for 2026.
“I am pleased to announce that the start of the school session will return to January in 2026.
“The ministry hopes with the announcement all financial and economic aspects can be planned earlier starting now by all relevant parties.
“The planning of family holidays, feasts and vacation days for teachers as we have announced in 10 initiatives in conjunction with Teacher’S Day can be arranged based on the school session that will be gazetted,” she told the Dewan Rakyat during Minister's Question Time on Tuesday (May 23).
Fadhlina (PH-Nibong Tebal) was replying to a question from Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading) on the measures taken by the Ministry to ensure that the school calendar is adhered to by all parties and in which year school would reopen again in early January.
Fadhlina added that efforts to return the start date of the school session began this year and that returning to a January start from next year would conflict with major examinations, school holidays as well as floods.
“The ministry must ensure that the teaching and academic session runs in a period of 26 to 32 weeks to ensure an optimum learning period in a year,” she said.
Fadlina said the Education Ministry had previously decided to change the academic calendar for the 2021/2022 session due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Due to the changes, the schooling session for 2023/2024 academic calendar started in March.
“The changes to the academic calendar of the school session allows the school to plan and implement rehabilitation, strengthening and enrichment activities intensively to increase the students' readiness to follow the next school year,” she said.
In March, Fadhlina said the school session may not begin in January next year, as it was necessary to complete various requirements under the Education Act 1996.
She said the change in the school academic calendar also needs to take into account local economic factors and year-end floods, in addition to not disrupting the exam schedule for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM).