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It's more than just teaching

By Getrude Makhafola | Jan 14, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

TEACHING at farm schools is not for the fainthearted.

TEACHING at farm schools is not for the fainthearted.

Teachers at these poorly equipped schools double up as social workers, parents and counsellors.

The promise by the Department of Education that teaching would start nationwide yesterday was not possible at farm schools that Sowetan visited. Administration offices were overcrowded with parents who came to register children at the last minute.

The pupils only received their stationery yesterday because it was delivered the day before the reopening.

At Thuto-Bokamoso, at least 20km towards Carletonville, a nine-year-old pupil brought his six-year-old brother to register for Grade R.

"My mother is at work on the farm. I had to bring my brother to register," said Karabo, as he stood in the queue, holding little brother Tshepo's hand.

The situation was the same at Setholela Primary School outsideRandfontein.

"Our hands are full. Parents come every day, even in the middle of the year, to find places for children.

"Life on the farms is difficult," said Ben Kobuoe, a teacher.

Eva Rapoo, the principal of Setholela, said her staff were used to "going beyond teaching" at her school.

"This is a no-fee school. The life of these children at home is characterised by poverty and all sorts of abuse you can think of. We try to make schooling more loving and accommodating," she said.

She said most did not have shoes or uniforms and her staff lent a hand.

Rapoo said migration by farmworkers was a challenge for schools.


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