The Western Cape Education Department has procured R49 million in textbooks, R24m in stationery, R17.5m in furniture and R2m in equipment to make sure that it is all systems go for the new school year.
The department announced that its #BackOnTrack extra classes for pupils and training for teachers would resume in February, to reverse learning losses and give children in the Western Cape a better future.
Fresh-faced pupils walked into their classrooms on Wednesday, despite a massive blow to the department's budget which the national Treasury has cut last year.
The department has committed to building 10 new schools and three replacement schools for new pupils joining the system this year. This includes two schools for pupils with special needs, through its Rapid School Build programme which aids placements in the province.
The department has placed around 120 000 grades 1 and 8 pupils, and said it would continue its efforts to place the remaining pupils seeking places at schools, including the late applicants who were arriving at district offices daily.
Education MEC David Maynier has asked parents to bear with them during this time.
“We ask for patience as we reallocate resources to where they are needed, and we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to place learners,” he said.
Idayimani Montessori Academy, a private school, opened its doors and welcomed children on their first day in Langa.
The school has been marked as the first privately funded township preschool and is set to provide the Langa community with access to premium quality early childhood education in a modern, sustainable, and safe learning environment.
At Curro schools, the atmosphere buzzed with a delightful mix of pupils and parents' excitement, nervous anticipation, joy and pride.
Curro said it recognised that stepping into a big school was no small accomplishment and understood that the exciting journey extended beyond textbooks and lessons.