Fewer late registrations in Soweto

2012-01-18 10:48

The re-opening of some public schools in Soweto was characterised by fewer late registrations.

“We have had very few late registrations this year compared to the other years,” said Sizakele Dube, principal of the Khuthala Primary School in Protea North.

It had registered 427 pupils by the time the administration side of the school opened on Monday.

Those parents and guardians trying to register pupils today had encountered unforeseen circumstances such as a sudden move of house or the death of parent who lived with the children outside the township.

At Rebone Primary School, in Naledi, most children were registered in September, said teacher Lizzy Mogami. It had registered 424 children by today.

Only a few had arrived at the school today to register, she said.

Grandparent Mavis Kgase, of Naledi, was at the school with her daughter and grandchildren, one of whom was going into Grade R and the other into Grade 3.

“We took forms last year already to register Tshegofatso for Grade R. We only came back this year to plead with the principal to take the older one, who had suddenly come into Naledi from the North West,” Kgase said.

She told how her daughter’s marital problems had left them running around trying to find a school for the child.

By 10am on Wednesday, pupils at Khuthala Primary School were settling into their classes, but had yet to receive textbooks.

“Textbooks are still outstanding, but it is a very small percentage,” Dube said.

She said the school had held a special assembly earlier this morning to welcome pupils, especially the 47 new Grade Rs.

The teachers led the pupils in song and prayer before making them pledge to be good ambassadors, and to be obedient and the best at school.

“They also pledged to come to school every day,” said Dube.

She said that although it was always emotional when Grade R pupils were brought to school for the first time, it was parents who were insecure about leaving their children.

“This year we would like to see parents become actively involved by visiting teachers to discuss learners’ progress and other issues they may have affecting the children.”

Rebone Primary School welcomed its 30 Grade R pupils with song and dance.

Most of them wore full school uniform. While a few clung to their parents, others were happy to join the “big school” assembly at 8am and be told what they could expect this year.

Parents stood listening to teachers, at the same time trying to re-assure the young ones that school was fun.

Thuli Ndaba of Naledi was with his son Siyabonga Sikwele (5) also going into Grade R. He had raised his son alone since the boy was two, he said.

He collected application forms last year and returned them on Monday.

“He is very happy... He can’t wait to go to class. As you can see he doesn’t even seem to care about me any more,” he said.

Mashudu Mosegedi, of Glenridge, near Protea Glen, brought her son Tshereletso for his first day at school.

“We registered on Monday and opted for a school in Naledi because it’s closer to his father’s home as I have to go to work,” she said.

Mosegedi said she had fortunately not had to deal with tears.

“He didn’t cry because he is used to going to creche,” she said.

However, it was a different story for five-year-old Amogelang Sencho, who sobbed, held onto her mother and refused to join in activities with her peers in her new classroom.

“She woke up at 5.30am and jumped out of bed when I woke her up to get ready for school,” said her mother Beverly Sencho.

“She was very happy this morning... She even commented that she was happy to start school because they won’t make them [pupils] sleep like at creche.”

Immediately after the school assembly, Mogami led parents and the new pupils to their classroom.

She took parents through a list of items they needed to bring to school and assured them that their children would be in good hands.

Shortly after this, parents started looking for ways to sneak away to work, while Mogami sang and danced to distract the children.

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