SOFT drizzling rain in many parts of KwaZulu-Natal did not hamper the joy of the first school-goers yesterday.
Thousands of pupils turned up for school for the first time.
Nervous and excited six-year-old Siphephelo Nkwanyana of Lamontville township, south of Durban, said she wanted to make her grandmother happy.
Siphephelo said she had been ready to go to school for a long time.
She was accompanied by her grandmother and had bravely stood at the bus shelter watching the rain and other pupils pass by.
"I want to be at school so that I can become a doctor. I won't be crying when my grandmother leaves."
Siphephelo started her Grade 1 at Excelsior Primary School.
Her grandmother, Zandile Nkwanyana, said she was accompanying her grandchild to school to show love and support.
"It's a very important step for a child to go to school for the first time," she explained. "I'm accompanying Siphephelo and my other grandchildren today so that they will understand the importance of education in their lives."
Nkwanyana said it was important for parents to support their children's education from the beginning.
"Parents must check their children's school work. That is what I do for my grandchildren. It's a huge investment."
Provincial education spokesperson Mbali Thusi said the reopening of schools went well in the province.
She said they had not received any reports of disruption on the first day.
"Obviously, we will get reports about the number of pupils who started their school this year.
"Last year we had about 2,7million learners but we will have a correct figure around February once everyone is registered, " Thusi said.
"Currently some pupils are still registering at the schools. But the sense we have is that all is well on the first day."
Thusi said the government's back-to-school initiative went well and "we will get reports about the situation on Friday."