First day of school teary for little Tshono

Julia with daughter Tshono on her first day at school in Hammaskraal.
Julia with daughter Tshono on her first day at school in Hammaskraal.
Image: KABELO MOKOENA

Little Tshono's first day of school seemed a little stressful because other children around her were crying.

Tshono, 5, of Hammanskraal, was one of thousands of children across Gauteng who where making their way to school for the first time.

The grade R pupil who was decked out in a white shirt and blue skirt arrived at the Sekampaneng Primary School accompanied by her two older siblings and parents yesterday.

The school was abuzz with parents and their children walking in while others could be seen crying as their mothers ushered them into the classrooms.

Tshono's mother Julia said her daughter had woken up at 5.30am to prepare for her first day.

"She was calm [in] the morning and during breakfast, and talked about [how she was] looking forward to her first day at school. But when we arrived here and she saw other children crying she also started to cry," Julia said.

When Sowetan attempted to ask Tshono questions about her first day at school, she looked away shyly. Her eyes had gone red from all the crying.

She opened her pink school bag and started eating a sandwich from her lunch box. When asked if she was happy to be at school, she just shook her head.

Public schools around the country opened on January 9 2018. While many of the children were very excited for their first day at school, some could not hold back the tears.

One of the teachers at the school could be heard asking parents to go home while assuring them that their children would be in good hands.

Meanwhile, for grade 12 pupils at Eqinisweni Secondary School in Tembisa yesterday was a normal school day despite there being a shortage of classes for grade 8s.

"Today we received our stationery and we had lessons as well. Even though we don't have the best but we are always doing well academically because we don't have time for procrastination," said a 17-year-old matric pupil.

The school got a 91% matric pass rate for 2018. They had 110 bachelor, 76 diploma and 25 higher certificate passes. They also boast a high number of pupils who are doing pure maths rather than maths literacy.

In Limpopo, the Sowetan team visited Mponegele Primary School in Seshego. The school's principal, Ngoako Lepuru, said the delivery of textbooks and stationery was done on time and there was enough food for pupils yesterday.
- Additional reporting by Yoliswa Sobuwa and Frank Maponya

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