Pupils back to school after long break

THE 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup has come and gone and pupils across the country are going back to school after a month-long holiday.

Despite concerns raised by parents and teachers' unions over the long holidays, provincial education departments had winter programmes to help pupils.

KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said all the schools were prepared for the new term.

"We expect everything to resume smoothly considering that we have not received any reports from any school stating difficulty ahead of the opening day."

Gauteng education department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said: "We are ready for the new term. This weekend, we will start Saturday classes for matriculants.

"There are less than 40 days in class before the start of the exams so we need to prepare well."

Meanwhile South African Teachers Union provincial spokesperson Mbu-yiseni Mathonsi applauded teachers who made an effort to take part in winter teaching programmes.

He said a strategic and centralised revision programme must be implemented in order to freshen pupils' minds after all the festivities of the soccer tournament

"The schools were closed but not the books. Pupils, especially matriculants, must now work hard to improve on the pass rate."