The School Year

Find out the timings of the academic year and expectations for school uniforms in Malaysia...

Malaysia has both publicly funded and private schools that serve different religious, ethnic or expatriate communities.

Schools terms and holidays differ for each school system.

International schools usually follow the school terms and holidays of their respective curriculums.

The school year in public schools in Malaysia is split into two terms. The first term usually starts in early January and ends at the end of May. In mid-March there is a mid-term break of about one week. A mid-year break of about two weeks starts around the end of May.

The second term usually starts in mid-June and ends mid-November. A mid-term break of about one week starts around the end of August. The school year ends in mid-November and lasts until early January.

  • For more information about school holidays (cuti sekolah) in Malaysia: Click here

School Uniform

Students in state schools in Malaysia are expected to wear school uniform. Schools regularly check uniform compliance and those who do not comply may be punished or even sent home.

Each school has a particular uniform and badges. In general, students are also expected to wear white socks and shoes.
Muslim girls tend to wear a baju kurung (a traditional dress) and most start to wear a tudung (headscarf) when they start secondary school.

Muslim boys sometimes wear the baju melayu (long sleeved shirt and trousers) to school on Fridays. Class prefects, class monitors and librarians wear neckties.

Dyed hair and make-up are not allowed, and boys are often not allowed long hair. Some schools prohibit hair gel. Girls with long hair must tie it back.