New pupils cling to parents on 1st day
Johannesburg - Teachers sang to Grade R pupils at Rebone Primary School in Soweto on Wednesday to welcome them on their first day.
Most wore full uniform, and while a few clung to their parents, others were happy to join the 'big school' assembly at 08:00 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.
Grandparent Mavis Kgase, of Naledi, was there with her daughter and grandchildren, one of whom was going into Grade R and the other into Grade Three.
"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.
Dad raised son alone
As her grandmother told how her daughter's marital problems had left them running around trying to find a school for the child, 5-year-old Tshego ran to join a queue of Grade Rs being led to their new classroom.
Father Thuli Ndaba, 40, of Naledi was with his son Siyabonga Sikwele, 5, also going into Grade R.
He had raised his son alone since the boy was 2-years-old, 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 anymore," he said.
Mashudu Mosegedi, 28, 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 crèche," she said.
Held onto mother
However, it was a different story for 5-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 05:30 and jumped out of bed when I woke her up to get ready for school," her mother Beverly Sencho aid.
"She was very happy this morning, she had even asked me to buy her a colouring-in book yesterday [Tuesday] and I did.
"She even commented that she was happy to start school because they won't make them [pupils] sleep like at crèche."
Teachers sing to distract pupils
Immediately after the school assembly, teacher Lizzy 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.
Mogami said most of the children had been registered in September and that only a few had simply arrived at the school on Wednesday.
Other classes at the school started without a hitch as pupils who had passed returned to their old classes and waited to be sent to their new ones.