Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's back to school for Western Cape learners

By Odette Ismail and Tarryn Le Chat
17 January 2007

The first school day at Queenspark High in Salt River, Cape Town, left many Grade 8 learners standing in an excluded bundle and feeling very nervous.

Catching up seems to be the main topic of the day amongst most of the pupils.

The school was buzzing this morning with students dressed up and looking smart in their maroon and grey uniforms, all geared up for their 2007 school year.

“I feel nervous… the new friends, I only saw them today and some of the others I saw them yesterday, just anything that comes my way I’ll take and grab a chance,” says Akhona a Grade 8 learner at Queenspark High School.

On the other side of the school grounds were vibrant Matric learners who said they could not wait for their school career to finish.

“I feel very excited to see my friends although I saw them the whole holiday… my goals are hopefully, to pass good this year and just to make it to a university,” says Jamie-lee Jansen a Grade 12 learner at the school.

A few kilometers away in Woodstock, another Bush Radio reporter found Saint Agnes Roman Catholic primary school abuzz with its learners returning to the once quiet school grounds after the long year-end holidays.

The energy was tangible in the air, with many students chirping away as they ran to meet their friends at the school gate. The most interesting developments were the newcomers. With some clutching onto their mom’s legs and others eyes lighting up as they take in their new surroundings, the Grade 1 learners were geared for the start of their school careers.

Many parents, escorting their kids to school, looked pleased and happy to have their kids start school. A parent, Rozanne Africa, describes her son Cassidy’s behaviour before his first day of "big" school: “He is very excited. Cassidy was up at 3 this morning wanting to get dressed and go to school,” she said.

MEC for Education, Cameron Dugmore, describes the first day of school as a prospect for many learners.

“Learners should not be afraid of school. It is a great prospect. They should see their teachers as friends and embrace the learning experience”, said Dugmore.

As the sound of the “you better get to class” bell went off at 8AM, students rushed towards the hall where the Grade 1 pupils and their parents were welcomed by the teaching staff and principal.


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