Grade R teacher Kamlani Moodley spends time with her Grade R pupils on the first day of school. | MOTSHWARI MOFOKENG African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - ONE cannot describe the first day of school without mentioning a few tears being shed.

That was the case at Clarence Primary School in Greyville on Wednesday - and at schools across the country -  as parents left their children in Grade R and Grade 1 for the first time.

One Grade 1 pupil was hysterical while lying on the floor.  

A couple of Grade R pupils were inconsolable when their parents prepared to leave them for their first day of school.

Four-year-old Ziyanda Molemong cried in her Grade R classroom as her mother, Mbali Molemong, 26, said goodbye to her before going to work.

At first, Ziyanda had not shed a tear before her mother left but all that changed when Daily News called Molemong back for an interview and Ziyanda saw her mother taking her handbag with her, which indicated to Ziyanda that she would be alone in an unfamiliar place.

“She cried, shame. The first time I left her she didn’t cry but the second time she cried. It was emotional for me as well. Leaving her at school for the first day, it’s emotional and it’s for the first time,” Molemong said.

She said she would be thinking of Ziyanda all day while she was at work.

Molemong said she was a very paranoid mother and she was afraid that Ziyanda being in an environment with a lot of children, she might be bullied.
Some pupils took it on the chin, like five-year-old Lwandile Msweli, who gave his mother, Nombuso Mbhele, 37, a high five and told her to fetch him in the afternoon.

“We took a photo and he said high five mom, fetch me in the afternoon. You’re going to work right, okay bye,” Mbhele said.
Mbhele said she was as chilled as her son because Lwandile had been attending creche so he knew he had to go to school.

One of the Grade R teacher’s Kamlani Moodley said the pupils needed at least half an hour and they would be fine, no more crying.

“More fun things to do on the first day. We’ll make them a crown to go home so they’re happy with that. We’ll also do their little handprint, it’s a surprise for their parents,” Moodley said.

Principal Lyn Breytenbach they expected 1 200 children from Grade R to Grade 7. Breytenbach said Grade R’s were her happy place. If she was having a bad day, she would go to the Grade R because they love you anyway.

Daily News