Motlanthe tells pupils to focus on education

2014-01-15 11:01
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

First school day pics

News24 users share their snaps of the emotional first day back at school. Send yours to

Johannesburg - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe urged school pupils to focus on education as the 2014 school year kicked off on Wednesday.

Addressing pupils at Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School in Midrand, Motlanthe said government did not want them to be distracted.

"Our role as government is to make sure you have access to education. As young people, we don't want to burden you with any other issue," he said.

Motlanthe told them life was a journey and the first step they chose to take on Wednesday would determine the type of results they obtained at the end of the year.

He urged the pupils to take education seriously as it was the only way to deal with inequalities in society.

"We live in an unequal society and education is the best equaliser. Education makes you a cultured person," he said.

The deputy president challenged the current crop of pupils to maintain the standards already set at the no-fee school, which was among the top performing schools last year.


In Soweto, pupils were saying their goodbyes to their parents at Faresani Primary School. Some were tearful, while others were eager to start learning.

Some of the pupils progressing from Grade R to Grade 1 were anxious about the transition.

One girl, smiling bravely, said: "I want to go back to crèche."

Another Grade 1 pupil said she was ready to face the year ahead.

"I got lunch, money and tissues in my bag."

Another, sporting neat cornrows, said she had her hair done on Tuesday specially for the occasion.

"My mom said I must look good 'cause I was going to start a new school," she said.

Security guards at the school closed the gates promptly at 08:30.

Late registrations

At Paul Mosaka Combined Primary School in Pimville, Soweto, some parents were still trying to register their children.

Head of the school's foundation phase Tlhakane Moroke said: "We did have parents coming in since Monday but our administration department is dealing with that."

Only a few late registrations were likely to be accepted because 72% of the classes at the school were filled by the end of last year.

Most pupils were wearing school uniforms, but a few were still in civvies.

In a Grade 1 classroom at the school, pupils sat quietly waiting for classes to begin. On the door of the classroom was a sign that read "Lebati", which is Sesotho for "door".


At St Cyprian's School in Cape Town there were only a few tears as parents dropped their little ones off for the first school day.

Some pre-school pupils were clinging to their parents before the official start of the school day. The parents said they were more nervous about letting go than their children were.

Some youngsters were clearly shy and had to be coaxed into classrooms by their doting parents.

One look at the school playground, however, had them running from their classrooms towards the sand pits and jungle gyms.


- First day of school? Or back to school? Send us your stories and photos.

Read more on:    kgalema motlanthe  |  education

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Lego sale!

Buy 2 or more Lego toys and get 15% off. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Spontaneity and bright ideas are emphasized today but there is a tendency to be too impulsive and you may want to keep a handle more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.