No fur­ni­ture on School Day 1


Fur­ni­ture was the main chal­lenge raised by pri­mary school prin­ci­pals in Gra­ham­stown town­ships on the first day for public schools, Wed­nes­day 11 Jan­uary.

Gro­cott’s Mail asked prin­ci­pals about their schools’ readi­ness for the year. Most said they had re­ceived sta­tionery and were busy dis­tribut­ing it to the chil­dren on Wed­nes­day.

At NV Cewu, Makana Pri­mary, CM Vellem, Sa­muel Ntlebi, Sa­muel Nt­siko and Tan­tyi Lower Public Pri­mary, pupils had a pack of sta­tionery in front of them. At most schools, teach­ers were al­ready busy teach­ing.

At NV Cewu, as early as 8am, par­ents and their chil­dren had al­ready filled the school yard. The Grade Rs were di­vided among those in tears and those cel­e­brat­ing their first day at school.

School prin­ci­pal Anele Ndy­olashe sur­prised pupils on the first day by dress­ing like them, in uni­form. He said they were only wait­ing for the depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion to top up text­books.

They had enough teach­ers. The only chal­lenge was par­ents who were com­ing to reg­is­ter their chil­dren on the first day of school.

Ndy­olashe said that was one thing de­lay­ing teach­ing on the first day.

They were try­ing to help par­ents by ac­com­mo­dat­ing their chil­dren, he said, but there was only lim­ited space avail­able. In Makana Public Pri­mary School, prin­ci­pal Mkholisi Wil­liams said they had re­ceived sta­tionery be­fore schools closed last year.

“Fur­ni­ture is our main con­cern be­cause its very old and I think in the past 10 years we have only re­ceived fur­ni­ture once.

“Teach­ing staff is an­other con­cern be­cause there is a class that is go­ing to be with­out a class teacher this year.

“I’m also a class teacher while I also have to per­form my du­ties as a prin­ci­pal,” Wil­liams said. At CM Vellem, some chil­dren were stand­ing; oth­ers were sit­ting on ta­bles when Gro­cott’s Mail ar­rived.

The school’s head of depart­ment Synod Sam said it was a frus­trat­ing sit­u­a­tion.

“I’m happy that you are here so that this can be pub­li­cised,” Sam said.

“We have no fur­ni­ture here and as you can see kids are sit­ting on top of ta­bles.

This is not only frus­trat­ing us as teach­ers, but also the kids them­selves.”

They had enough teach­ers, how­ever, and had re­ceived sta­tionery on time”, Sam said.

“We have given the pupils the sta­tionery and teach­ing has started, as we don’t want to waste time.

“We also don’t have any prob­lems with scholar trans­port, as forms were signed last year on be­half of pupils who need it.”

Sa­muel Ntlebi prin­ci­pal Du­makazi Mye­mane said things were go­ing smoothly on their first day.

“We have sta­tionery and the depart­ment promised to give us the In­ter­me­di­ate Se­nior Phase teacher that we cur­rently need,” Mye­mane said.

“We are ready for this year and we are more than mo­ti­vated by the fact that we have a new fence for our yard for se­cu­rity rea­sons.”

At Sa­muel Nt­siko Pri­mary, chil­dren were also in classes with teach­ers teach­ing.

Prin­ci­pal Nom­bulelo Koliti said she couldn't re­ally com­plain since they had re­ceived sta­tionery on time and had enough teach­ers.

How­ever, Sa­muel Nt­siko, was also short of fur­ni­ture she said.

Tan­tyi Lower Public Pri­mary’s head of depart­ment Luleka Vabaza said there were no chal­lenges on their first day, as they had re­ceived sta­tionery last year. She said the only thing they had not re­ceived was learner sup­port ma­te­rial.

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