KUALA LUMPUR: The new school year will return to the month of January in 2026, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.
She said plans were being made by the ministry to bring forward the beginning of the academic calendar for the 2024/2025 session to February 2025.
“The ministry has studied the proposal to restore the school academic calendar to start in January like before.
“The ministry hopes that 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 announced in the 10 initiatives in conjunction with Teachers Day (recently) can be arranged based on the new academic calendar that will be gazetted,” she told the Dewan Rakyat during Minister’s Question Time yesterday.
She was replying to a question from Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading) on when the school calendar can return to the January schedule.
Fadhlina said that in determining the academic calendar year for schools, the ministry needs to ensure that the teaching and learning process can be carried out optimally and meet the required number of 190 school days in a year.
“The ministry has also aligned the public examination schedule so that it is in line with the change in the school academic calendar.”
She said any changes to the school academic calendar need to take into account local economic factors and the flood season to ensure that they do not interfere with public examination schedules such as the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM).
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 schooling sessions in 2021 and 2022 were extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The extension allows schools to plan and implement recovery activities to better prepare the students for the next school year,” she added.
Fadhlina also said the schooling session for the 2023/2024 academic year was maintained, with school starting in March, to ensure the ministry abides by the requirement of having no less than 190 schooling days in an academic year.