The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education
Facts: South Africa and education
View background information about South Africa and its education.
Country: South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa in English and Republiek van Suid-Afrika in Afrikaans. South Africa has been a colony of the Netherlands for a long time. The United Kingdom was also in power for years. South Africa has been completely independent since the founding of the Republic of South Africa in 1961.
Compulsory education: 6 to 15 years, or up to grade 9, whichever comes first.
Language of instruction: South Africa has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Northern Sotho, Sesotho, Setswana, SiSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Pupils at primary school have the right to follow education in their home language, if it is one of the 11 official languages. From grade 4 onwards, pupils only receive education in English and Afrikaans.
Academic year: from January to December (approximately 200 school days), divided into 4 terms. The 1st term: mid-January to late March, early April. The 2nd term: mid-April to June. The 3rd term: mid-July to approximately mid-September. The 4th term: early October to early December.