The School Year

Find out about the school year and school holidays in Colombia...

The minimum requirements to comply with Colombian regulation on education are 800 hours per school year for students at preschool level, 1000 hours at elementary school and 1200 hours at secondary school. Daily schedules vary depending on the type of institution and academic calendars are not fixed in order to allow institutions to adapt to regional conditions and academic programmes.

In Colombia, there are two school year calendars. Public institutions and some private schools follow calendar A, and private institutions follow calendar B.

  • Calendar A: The school year begins at the end of January or the beginning of February, and ends in the middle or end of November with holidays in April, June and October
  • Calendar B: The school year begins at the end of August or the beginning of September, and ends in the middle of June. Holidays are in April and October with one or one and a half months holiday starting in November or December

The legal requirements for holidays include a one-week break during the first semester of the year, coinciding with Semana Santa, the Easter week celebration, and another week in October before the celebration of the holiday commemorating the discovery of America. Private schools are granted a level of flexibility to organize these half-term breaks; however, the general structure is maintained.