Mixed emotions as Day 1 of the 2023 school year gets underway
It was mixed emotions for both learners and parents, who officially started their 2023 school year on Wednesday.
More than 1.2 million learners sat behind desks for the first day of the first term, including nearly 92 000 in Grade 1 or “big school”, and over 96 000 Grade 8s to high school.
This is the first year since the Covid-19 pandemic started that schools are opening with full attendance and regular timetables.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it completed 561 additional classrooms in time for the first day of schools, as part of its unprecedented school infrastructure delivery programme. As a result, the WCED added 1 143 teaching posts
‘’The Department has been hard at work helping our schools prepare for the start of the school year. All top up textbooks ordered by schools were delivered by October 2022, at a cost of R62 million. In addition, stationery supplies to the value of R39 million, furniture to the value of R50 million, and other equipment to the value of R1.6 million were also delivered by December 2022,’’ said Education MEC, David Maynier.
Despite the WCED giving themselves a pat on the back, 955 are still anxiously waiting to be placed in a school.
‘’We have made incredible progress in placement, placing over 50 000 more learners than this time last year. We have now placed 99.2% of our Grade 1 and 8 learners.’’
Bush Radio spoke to a parent who was at a school in Langa
‘’I transferred my child to another school, but when I got here, they [the staff] told me there is no openings and that they will put my child on a waiting list, so I came back to the old school to see if they don’t want to take him back. I do not want my child to stay at home.’’
Meanwhile, the MEC Maynier and Premier Alan Winde celebrated the start of the 2023 school year at Starling Primary School, Mountview.
“I urge you to all work hard, but also be kind to yourselves and your fellow learners. Take pride in your schools and do you very best. And to our parents: thank you for being our partners in securing our learners' futures by registering on time, supporting your learner and holding us to account. To our teachers, other school staff and Western Cape Education Department officials, I commend you for the important work that you do in offering our learners dignified places of teaching and learning,’’ said Winde.
Acting Principal Renjeni Chetty welcomed learners to school, saying:
“As the staff of Starling Primary School, we are ready, geared up and enthusiastic for lift off to engage in teaching, guiding and assisting our learners to reach their potential holistically.”
Speaking to a few learners on how they felt on the first day:
‘’I am in matric this year, so it is all about focus and giving it my all,’’ said a learner.
‘’I failed Grade 11, so I am repeating the grade this year, but this year I am planning to do better. I will not slack and get distracted.’’
For a Grade 1 learner that Bush Radio spoke to, well, she is looking forward to eating and making new friends.
Done By: Mitchum George