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​The time has come for many young children to enter the world of learning at big school. On the first day, some were happy, others a little tearful.
THERE were some tears as parents gave comforting hugs and kisses to their little ones who made the transition from Grade R to “big school” this morning.

A parent gives Grade 1 pupils a comfortingA parent gives Grade 1 pupils a comforting hugLooking smart in their new uniforms, Grade 1 learners at Parkside Primary School in Lenasia South started their first day of school on an eager note. Assuring their parents they were perfectly fine, pupils made their way to their classrooms.

Saajidah Mohamed, one of the parents, said she was excited but also a bit nervous for her daughter’s first day; however, her daughter, Laaiqah, assured her mother that she could leave as she was ready for the start of the school day.

Some pupils weren’t as ready to let go of their parents, and teachers made them feel at home, accommodating the parents in the classrooms. The school, on the other was ready to take on the learners.

According to Fazel Wadiwala, the chairperson of the school’s student governing body, the school was organised, ready and well equipped to deal with first-day jitters.

Parkside Primary School’s deputy principle, Pat Parsadh, said the school understood the importance of Grade 1 as it was the foundation of the students’ schooling career. Teachers were qualified and experienced so they could give pupils “only the best”.

She stressed the importance of parents and teachers working hand-in-hand to ensure the children got the best education possible. Apart from the Grade 1s, other grades started in full swing with work being allocated and homework already assigned.

According to the South African Schools Act, schooling is compulsory for children aged from seven to 15. The school life spans 13 years or grades, from Grade 0, otherwise known as Grade R or reception year, through to Grade 12 or matric.
Education MEC Barbara Creecy also expressed her confidence in the province’s schools, regarding their state of readiness, adding that she expected work to begin on the first day.

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