A long day for Thabang

Six-year-old Thabang has to be awake by 5am every day to prepare to get to school on time from Soweto.

Six-year-old Thabang has to be awake by 5am every day to prepare to get to school on time from Soweto.

The Grade 1 pupil and 14 schoolmates are ferried in a minibus taxi through the heavy Johannesburg traffic to Forrest Primary School, south of the city.

His mother, Gloria Moabelo, who commutes to distant Midrand for work, says she cannot take him to school because of time constraints.

"I do not think that I would survive the traffic if I had to drive and drop him off at Forrest Primary School every day," she says.

She bathes Thabang in the evening before he goes to bed. "I do that to avoid taking too much time preparing him for school in the morning," she says.

She is one of the many parents in Soweto who decided not to take their children to township schools because of the "unattractive education" that she endured.

"I want the best for my child. The thought of him being taught the same things I was taught years ago did not settle well with me. Good education is the best gift I can give him from an early age," she says.

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