KUALA LUMPUR: The new school year for 2021 will begin on Jan 20, a date much later than the usual period after taking into consideration the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, says the Education Ministry.
Its minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the delay in year-end examinations, as well as the short year-end school breaks, were among the considerations taken in the new school year.
The year-end school holidays for this year had originally been slated to begin on Dec 18 and end on Dec 31, depending on the states.
The year-end holidays for schools in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu have been reduced from 42 days to 14 days, while schools in Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya will have a 13-day holiday.
Radzi said schooling was extended this year as the ministry wanted to ensure schools complete the syllabus.
“The ministry couldn’t announce the school calendar for 2021 without engaging with stakeholders.
“The ministry only prepared the school calendar and holidays after taking into consideration the effects due to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).
“As such, we would like to announce that the first term for 2021 nationwide will commence on Wednesday, Jan 20.
“This new date is much later than the usual dates when school begins, which means the school holidays will be longer, ” he said in his winding-up speech on the Royal address yesterday.
Radzi said the ministry had to take the Covid-19 pandemic into account while planning the school calendar, adding that it would take more than one year for things to return to normal.
He said many were unhappy when the announcement that school breaks were cut short this year was made.
Radzi said the ministry was worried students would not be able to grasp the syllabus for this year and would face challenges next year.
“If they are unable to understand what they have learnt this year, they may not be too motivated because they may feel left out, ” he added.