Tears, cheers and traffic as schools open for 2016

2016-01-14 11:24
Pupils sing during assembly on the first day at Landsyde Primary School in Elandskop.

Pupils sing during assembly on the first day at Landsyde Primary School in Elandskop. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - It was evident that children were back at school on Wednesday as parents made their way through the heavy traffic and children with fresh, crisp uniforms, ties in place and shining shoes could be seen walking in groups to their schools.

On Wednesday morning, another batch of newbies arrived at their classrooms across Pietermaritzburg for the start of their school career.

Although local school principals said the first day back at school went smoothly, it was not without tears.

Traffic outside schools was jam-packed as excited parents dropped off their children at school for the start of the 2016 schooling year.

Teachers and school principals had their hands full ensuring every class was in order and children were settled in.

About 150 parents queued outside Berg Street Primary school hoping to secure placement for their children there. The school currently has 1 295 registered pupils from Grade R to 7, with 384 pupils on the waiting list.

However, school principal Reshma Amritlal said the school issued letters to parents who were queuing there to return on Friday.

“We made it clear in the letter that we are not assuring admission,” said Amritlal.

She said the school is facing a challenge as other parents hadn’t indicated whether their children would be returning to the school.

“By Friday we will have an idea as to how many pupils would be accommodated in our school. It is unfortunate we can’t help everyone,” she said.

Amritlal said there was good communication between local schools regarding available space to help those who were unsuccessful at other schools of their choice.

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni expressed her happiness with the attendance and the state of readiness at many schools in the province on the first day of the 2016 academic year.

“We are very happy that teaching and learning is taking place at a number of schools on the first day. This is indeed a positive start. We want to make sure that we continue visiting schools from time to time to check if things are done properly. The culture of learning and teaching must be strengthened and we will make sure that we reach the level where we want to be as the Education Department in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Nkonyeni.

Members of the Legislature with officials from the department have been scattered across the province since earlier this week, making sure that learning and teaching is taking place and that schools are in good shape.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  school

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