An academic year is the time period during which an educational institution provides classes. In South Africa, the academic year of School starts in January and ends in December, while that of Universities starts in early February and ends late November.
School Academic Year
The academic year in South Africa is about 200 school days in duration and begins in January and continues until December.
All public schools in South Africa follow a four-term school year as defined by the national Department of Education. Each term lasts for about 10-11 weeks. The terms are typically defined as follows-
The first term commences in mid-January and ends in either March or April, i.e Before Good Friday. Then are the Easter holidays of about 10 days.
The second term commences in mid-April and continues until June. During the second term, falls the winter holidays which are 21 days long.
The third term commences in mid-July and ends in September with September vacations, also known as spring holidays, which lasts for 10 days.
The fourth term starts in early October and goes on until early December. Subsequently the term ends, falls the Christmas holidays or the December or summer vacations, which are generally 40 days long.
The Private Schools in South Africa have a similar calendar, with little adjustment as per their academic and religious needs. A few of independent or private schools in South Africa follow a three-term year. The coastal schools academic year dates are somewhat dissimilar from the inland schools.
Universities Academic Year
The Universities in South Africa have 2 semesters each year-
The first semester commences in early February and continues until early June
The second semester begins in late July and continues until late November.
Each semester comprises of twelve or thirteen teaching weeks, with a one-week short vacation in between, and followed by 3-4 weeks of examinations. The short vacation during the first semester generally occurs around the Easter weekend and in early September during the second semester.