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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Malaysia School Holiday Calendar 2021 - Changes and Possible Implications

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The Ministry of Education has released the 2021 school holidays calendar.  The school holidays for 2021 are as follows:

27 March - 4 Apr 2021 First Semester Break
29 May - 13 Jun 2021 Mid Year Break
17 Jul - 25 Jul 2021 Second Semester Break 1
11 Sept - 19 Sept 2021 Second Semester Break 2
11  Dec - 31 Dec 2021 End of Year Break

The school holiday calendar 2021 can be downloaded from the Ministry of Education Malaysia official website here: Takwim Persekolahan 2021

Let's compare next year's holidays with the 2020 (before ammendmend for Covid calendar). What is the difference?  Let's see what this means to us parents. Note that we compared with the original school calendar for 2020 before any ammendmends were made due to Covid-19 because every year the calendar is more or less the same.

What is the difference and what are the implications?

1. School starts later ie on 20th January instead of 2nd January.

Possible Implications: This may be good news for those doing school transfers because the results of transfers usually come out around this time. We hope the results will continue to be out at this time instead of delayed further because one of the issues parents and schools face is students often have to attend school at the school they want to transfer out of for a few weeks before they get the results of their appeal or application for transfer. Inconveniences such as not being able to attend the orientation of their new school, whether to buy workbooks and gym clothes, pay school fees etc arise from this.

2. Number of school days and holidays. 

In 2020, number of holidays are 9 + 16 + 9 + 41 = 75 days
In 2021, number of holidays are 9 + 16 + 9 + 9 + 21 = 64 days 

In 2020, the number of schooling days are 49 + 40 + 35 + 75 = 198
In 2021, the number of schooling days are 45 + 35 + 25 + 33 + 56 = 194 days

As you can see from this comparison, in 2021, there are 5 holiday breaks instead of 4. Although the number of holiday breaks have increased, the number of days has actually decreased.  Also, in the second half of the year, students attend school for just 25 days (about 3 weeks) and then they have a break and then they attend school again for 33 days (about a month) and they have another break again. This has not taken into account cuti perayaan or festive holidays yet. 

For example if you were to take into account the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive holidays, then students will be having off days on the following days.

11 May to 16 May 2021 - Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays
29 May to 13 June 2021 - Mid Term Break
17 July to 25 July 2021 -  Mid Semester Break

Possible Implications: Will teachers and schools find it more challenging to schedule exam dates with increased number of breaks in between schooling days? That remains to be seen. We trust that our teachers and schools will be able to schedule their lessons and exams around these dates as necessary. Working parents may also find it challenging to make arrangements for child care with breaks which are scheduled close together.

3. The End of Year Break is in December instead of November

Possible Implications: Flood prone areas may face challenges

Here's a look at the two calendars side by side.

What about Festive Breaks?

Let's compare the Festive Breaks for 2021 with 2020. At a glance, there is not much difference as each of the major  festival is given 2 extra holidays in addition to the public holiday.  So, let's just have a look at the 2021 total number of holidays for each festival including public holidays and weekends.

Chinese New Year = 5 days ie  Wed, 10 Feb to Sun, 14 Feb 2021

Hari Raya Aidilfitri = 6 days ie Tue 11 May to Sun 16 May 2021

Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai Dayak  is within the Mid Term Holidays

Hari Deepavali = 5 days ie Wed 3 Nov to Sun 7 Nov 2021

We have used Group B schools as example in the above comparisons. Group B Schools are schools in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan and Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya. 

Group A schools are schools in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. They observe  Friday and Saturday as a weekend. Therefore the start and end dates of the holidays differ by one or two days and holidays are usually adjusted to fit the weekends accordingly. The school calendar for both Kumpulan A and Kumpulan B are shown below.

Parents from Group A schools can refer to the school calendar at the top of this page for the dates.

With this calendar out, parents can now plan for their time off to spend time with their kids. Even if not going on a vacation, annual leave can be taken to spend time with kids and arrangements for child care etc can be made. 

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