Here’s the planned school calendar for 2025 – and two big changes that should be in effect by then

The Department of Basic Education has published the proposed school calendar for 2025.

The 2025 school calendar runs from 15 January to 12 December – a total of 200 school days. While the year is expected to have additional school holidays compared to 2024 (27 vs 25), this is still fewer than in prior years.

The 2025 school year also marks the deadline for two big changes for South African schools and learners, with the coding and robotics curriculum expected to be in full swing, and the General Education Certificate anticipated to be fully rolled out.

The department plans to fully implement coding and robotics as new schools subject for Grade R-3 and 7 students in the 2023 academic year.

A pilot curriculum for these subjects was initially introduced at some schools in the third term of the 2021 academic year, it said. It plans to expand these tech-focused subjects to other grades in subsequent years.

The coding and robotics pilot for Grades 4-6 and for Grades 8 was planned for 2022 and will be followed by a Grade 9 pilot in 2023. The full-scale implementation for Grades 4-6 and Grade 8 is planned for 2024, and Grade 9 in 2025, the department said.

General Education Certificate 

The department plans to introduce a Grade 9 General Education Certificate (GEC) which will allow students to have some form of qualification before matric.

“The primary purpose of the certificate will be to facilitate subject choices beyond Grade 9 and articulation between schools and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as a low-stakes feature of the school accountability system,” the department said.

In January 2022, the department said it will pilot the new certificate at 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 broad consultations around the certificate have already taken place with stakeholders, partners, and experts on the most appropriate model for the GEC, and public comments have been considered in introducing the policy.

Proposed 2025 Calendar

Confirmed 2023 and 2024 calendars

The proposed calendar for 2025 follows the department publishing the calendar for 2024 last week.

The 2024 public school calendar starts on 17 January 2024 and ends on 11 December, delivering a total of 203 school days – four more than in 2022 and 2023.

There will also be fewer school holidays in 2024, with the calendar making provision for just 25 days off, compared to 32 days in 2023 and 33 in 2022.

To accomplish this, the 2024 calendar is structured in such a way that the school terms are not interjected by as many public holidays, with schools only losing two days to public holidays – one day each in term two and three. In 2022 and 2023, learners lost eight days to public holidays.

Most public holidays in 2024 will take place during school holidays. The department has had to make these changes to the calendar to make up for teaching losses felt during the Covid-19 pandemic which severely hampered teaching capacity and learner hours.

The confirmed calendars are below:

2023 School Calendar

2024 School Calendar

Read: Big shift in schooling in South Africa

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