Patents who came to make late applications at Ratlala Primary School. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
Patents who came to make late applications at Ratlala Primary School. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

Tears, smiles on first day at Soshanguve school but some parents still queue for admission

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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Pretoria - Tears ran down the cheeks of six-year-old twin brothers as they waited anxiously to start Grade 1 at St Francis Primary School in Soshanguve Block P.

Thando and Olwethu Matlala held on tightly to their mother's dress, not willing to let go as their fellow learners took turns to make way into their new school.

A long snaking queue of learners, covered with masks on their faces formed outside the school entrance.

They were accompanied by their parents, who stood by and watched on as the gatekeepers sanitised their children's hands and checked their temperatures using scanners.

Boys were immaculately dressed in their colourful uniforms of yellow shirts and blue trousers while girls put on the blue skirts and yellow shirts.

Both Thando and Olwethu shed tears when their mom Ouma Matlala begged them to join the queue.

Matlala said:"They were happy to go to school when we left home this morning. I am surprised why they suddenly broke into tears."

She said the twins have been happily doing countdown for the school reopening.

"They were in cloud nine last night and could not wait for this day," said Matlala while Thando cried hysterically.

There were, however, not all first-time learners who were overwhelmed with mixed emotions.

Siphezihle Mokoena, 6, was among the happy Grade 1 learners, who were looking forward to getting on with their first day at school.

He smiled from ear to ear while in the company of his father Mandla Ntlatlane.

"We never slept last year because he has been looking forward to this day. I think he is going to enjoy being part of his 12 year journey of education," Ntlatlane said.

He said it was not difficult to get him admitted at the school. "We went to register online with the department of education last year and we came here to verify if he had been placed. We found that he was already placed at the school, " .he said

It was, however, not a smooth-sailing process to welcome learners at a neighbouring primary school called Ratlala.

There was a hive of activity outside the main gate, where parents were queuing to submit forms for late admission applications for their children.

By 8:30am, the learning activities were still not started as learners waited to be allocated seats inside classrooms.

The school principal refused to speak to the media as she was not authorised by the department to do so.

One parent, who refused to be named, said she was there to submit application forms for a Grade 6 learner.

She came to the school last year in December, but she was apparently told to return when the school reopens this year.

A parent, Mandla Ratau said: "I have a child who is doing Grade 2 at this school and I am here to ask whether he should also attend classes today or not, according to the school's timetable."

The reopening was initially scheduled to take place on January 25, but it was postponed by two weeks to minimise the spread of Covid-19 infection at the peak of the second wave.

Pretoria News

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