Ex­cite­ment and hope

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SINESIPHO GOQWANA

On Wed­nes­day, public schools around South Africa opened their doors for teach­ing and learn­ing in 2017.

St Mary’s Ro­man Catholic Pri­mary School was abuzz with new pupils ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents and sib­lings as prin­ci­pal Ger­ard Ja­cobs stood by the gate to wel­come them.

Geroniza Vosloo’s son, Caleb Vosloo, will be in Grade 5 this year.

“I feel like it is very im­por­tant for my son to know and un­der­stand the value of ed­u­ca­tion. I tell him that ev­ery day,” she said.

Tam­ryn Can­non, also in Grade 5 this year, was ex­cited about be­ing in a new grade and be­ing with her friends again.

“I am look­ing for­ward to meet­ing my new class­mates and teacher and I hope that I will pass this year too,” she said.

Grade 6 Tashriq Blake, who re­cently re­lo­cated to Gra­ham­stown from Port El­iz­a­beth, was en­thu­si­as­tic as he en­tered the gate with his un­cle, Jonathan Kitchen.

Tashriq said he looked for­ward to meet­ing his teach­ers and mak­ing new friends.

Ja­cobs said the only con­cern the school has is the in­suf­fi­cient num­ber of posts al­lo­cated to them by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“The SGB had to cre­ate four posts and is cur­rently em­ploy­ing four teach­ers,” Ja­cobs said.

“This places un­due pres­sure on the fi­nances of the school, as it is a non-fee-pay­ing school,” he said.

How­ever, Ja­cobs said there were enough text­books and sta­tionery and the govern­ment had pro­vided scholar trans­port.

“The school is ready for the aca­demic year and we are hop­ing to achieve our usual good re­sults,” he said.

Ge­orge Dickerson Pri­mary School also had a busy morn­ing with par­ents calm­ing lit­tle ones’ nerves and set­tling them in.

Thandiwe Petse ac­com­pa­nied her grand­son, Lukhanyo Maneli, who will be in Grade 5.

“I have quite an amaz­ing his­tory with this school be­cause my sis­ter’s child was said to be a slow learner prior to com­ing to Ge­orge Dickerson many years back - but she ob­tained a Bach­e­lor pass in ma­tric and is go­ing to NMMU this year,” she said.

She said she could not have cho­sen a bet­ter school for her grand­son.

Good Shep­herd also had a good start to the aca­demic year.

Grade R teacher Mag­da­lene Hel­lier said the chil­dren were at ease be­cause they did not even cry.

“My con­cern so far is lack of space. We have had to turn par­ents away since we are so full. Some par­ents even came with their kids, beg­ging for a place, and you could see the dis­ap­point­ment in their lit­tle faces. That broke my heart,” she said.

Good Shep­herd Pri­mary School Head of Depart­ment, Katie Ap­pol­lis, said the big­gest is­sue that they have at the school is the short­age of teach­ers; how­ever, they don’t let that de­ter them.

“Our main ob­jec­tive is for teach­ing and learn­ing to take place and we have re­ceived great sup­port from our NGOs and mem­bers of the Trust,” Ap­pol­lis said.

“We also have enough text­books and scholar trans­port is un­der way,” she con­firmed.

• More back-to-school sto­ries and pic­tures in our spe­cial FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL pullout fea­ture in­side this edi­tion.

Photo: Sinesipho Goqwana

Thandiwe Petse with her grand­son Lukhanyo Maneli at Ge­orge Dickerson.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.