Cape Town - As the 2022 school year sets off, first-time Cape Town High School pupils were visibly nervous when they entered the gates in their crisp uniforms.
The high school this year welcomed 190 new Grade 8 pupils who are attending for the first time, while about 890 pupils make up the rest of the student complement.
Principal Emilton Cloete wants the school to return to normal as the impact of the pandemic becomes less severe.
“For this year we wish for the schools to return to normal, we are starting off with rotational time tables, which will include weekly rotations. We have three grades here a week with Grade 12 being full time. The hope is that by the end of term one, we might change to full time and that all grades can return,” Cloete said.
After the way things transpired in the last two years, he thinks pupils seem to be in need of fundamental skills.
“We’ve seen that our learners are lacking the fundamental skills that they did not pick up and were not covered in the past two years. We hope for the learners to do well, achieve and reach their goals but also for the school to maintain a good academic result.
“We have dedicated teaching staff and the majority of parents you can depend on and work with. We base our success on the fact that we get the co-operation of our parents and learners that are eager to achieve with the minimal resources that we have,” Cloete said.
Parent Johann Abrahams said hopefully his son would be able to cope with the pressures of high school.
“It’s been an emotional experience seeing our little Joshua growing up and now going to high school. It’s also been a very expensive experience. I didn’t anticipate it would cost so much with everything you have to buy. It seems like a good school, there is good discipline, structure and management,” Abrahams said.
Lesleigh Johnson, aunt of Kiwaylin Theunissen, said: “We want to get him out of Bonteheuwel into a different environment, out of the norm of gangsterism, so we put him in this school which offers different opportunities.
“We are a bit nervous because he is an introvert but we hope he will be more social, get a better education and be more involved in school activities.”
As new Grade 9 learners were welcomed at the gates by Cloete, they were focused on getting into the hall where they would be divided and introduced to their new classrooms and teachers.
Shanique Moton, 13, said: “I’m excited about trying new things and here they offer natural science and maths, which is my favourite subject. I’m looking at joining the science club, arts and craft, and running. I’m also nervous about making friends.”
Theona Tshuma, 13, said: “I’m really nervous but it will get better with time by learning new things. I’m mostly looking forward to the sports programme and the level of education.