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First graders cheerful as government schools reopen for 2024

School reopened for the 2024 academic year at Rosebank Primary in Johannesburg.
School reopened for the 2024 academic year at Rosebank Primary in Johannesburg.
Image: Kgaugelo Masweneng

As government schools opened on Wednesday for the new academic year, many parents have followed the online tradition of posting their “bundle of joys”.

At Rosebank Primary School in Johannesburg, parents experienced an easy morning as most pupils were happy to be at “big” school or reuniting with their friends. During the first period the lower grades were busy with their first activity of colouring and getting used to their seating arrangements.

“None have made a fuss. They had a fun morning as some of them are returning. It's been a smooth welcoming so far,” said a grade 2 teacher.

A parent, Mapula Diago, who came to finalise the admission of her daughter, said she was excited as her child is looking forward to the year.

“Dineo has been asking when is back to school for a week. She was tired of being at home. She is new at the school. Her father didn’t have to wake her up this morning, she was so eager and organised,” she said.

“I think this is a good school and things are fairly affordable, unlike other primary schools. We hope it is value for money, but so far we are happy with what we see.”

Gauteng MEC for health Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko visited Nkumbulo Secondary School in Ekurhuleni for a back-to-school campaign meant to assess the state of readiness for the academic year.

She gave a talk about the dangers pupils might face and how to overcome them.

“It is about learning to say ‘no’ to wrong influences. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ and to be different. Remember, true friends will never pressurise you into engaging in risky behaviours or making choices that could jeopardise your future.

“Risky sexual behaviour and substance abuse are areas where peer pressure can be particularly influential and dangerous. Engaging in sexual activity at a young age can have severe consequences, both physically and emotionally, and socially and economically. It can lead to unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and disrupt your education.

“As boys and girls, you must understand the risks involved and make informed decisions about your bodies and ultimately your futures,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.


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