Here's The Official 2024 School Calendar

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The 2023 school year has just ended with the basic education department now preparing for the 2024 school year. Here’s a look at how the 2024 school year has been scheduled.

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School Terms 2024

The Department of Basic Education has announced the release of its 2024 school calendar. Only public schools across the nation are covered under this school calendar. So if you are wondering 'when are schools opening' this is the information you need.

I, Angelina Matsie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, acting in terms of section 3(4)(k) of the National Education Policy Act, 1996, (Act No. 27 of 1996), and after consultation with the Council of Education Ministers, hereby publish the 2024 School Calendar for public schools in South Africa as detailed in the accompanying schedule.

School Reopening 2024

For the 2024 school year, Coastal Cluster schools and Inland schools will both have 203 instructional days spread over 43 weeks.

Schools in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West are classified as schools that cover the inland regions of the country. The Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape, and Western Cape are all part of the Coastal Cluster of schools in the nation.

In previous years the schools in coastal provinces started at a different time to schools located at inland provinces. The Basic Education Department has decided that all public schools across the country will now start and end their school terms at the same time.

Term dates for all public schools in 2024:

  • First Term: 17 January - 20 March
  • Second Term: 3 April - 14 June
  • Third Term: 9 July - 20 September
  • Fourth Term: 1 October - 13 December

Consequently, all schools' academic years will conclude on 13 December. 

School Calendar 2024

When are schools opening 2024? The South African school calendar is typically determined by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) at the national level, in consultation with provincial education departments, school governing bodies, and other stakeholders. 

Public and School Holidays for 2024

New Year's Day 1 January 2024

Human Rights Day 21 March 2024

Good Friday 29 March 2024

Family Day 1 April 2024

Freedom Day 27 April 2024

Workers Day 1 May 2024

Youth Day 16 June 2024

Public Holiday 17 June 2024

National Women's Day 9 August 2024

Heritage Day 24 September 2024

Day of Reconciliation 16 December 2024

Christmas Day 25 December 2024

Day of Goodwill 26 December 2024

When Are Schools Opening 2024?

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa takes into consideration several factors when determining the school calendar. These factors may include:

  1. Academic requirements: The DBE considers the academic requirements of the national curriculum, including the amount of instructional time needed for teaching and learning, as well as assessment and examination schedules. The school calendar is typically designed to ensure that students have sufficient time to cover the required curriculum and prepare for assessments and examinations.

  2. National and provincial examination schedules: The DBE coordinates with the national and provincial examination bodies to ensure that the school calendar aligns with the schedules of national and provincial examinations, such as the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations for Grade 12 students.

  3. Public holidays: The DBE takes into account public holidays and religious holidays that fall during the school year, as these may affect school operations, attendance, and scheduling. Public holidays in South Africa may vary by province or municipality, and the DBE considers these when finalizing the school calendar.

  4. Seasonal considerations: The DBE may also consider seasonal factors, such as weather patterns and seasonal events, when determining the school calendar. For example, schools in some regions of South Africa may have different calendars to account for rainy seasons or agricultural activities.

  5. Stakeholder input: The DBE may gather input and feedback from various stakeholders, including provincial education departments, school governing bodies, teacher unions, and other educational organizations, during the process of finalizing the school calendar. This input may be considered in making decisions about the school calendar.

  6. Logistical considerations: The DBE may also consider logistical factors, such as transportation, special events or activities, and other practical considerations that may impact the school calendar. This includes ensuring that schools have adequate time for administrative tasks, teacher professional development, and other school-related activities.

  7. Education policies and priorities: The DBE considers relevant education policies, priorities, and goals when determining the school calendar. This may include broader educational initiatives or priorities set by the national or provincial education departments, such as efforts to improve learner performance, reduce dropout rates, or promote inclusive education.

It's important to note that the specific factors considered when determining the school calendar may vary depending on the circumstances and context, and the DBE may use a combination of these and other relevant factors to finalize the school calendar for South African schools.

Download the Official School Calendar for 2024



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