Share this article

​Pupils began the day early at Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra, where City and government officials dropped in to check on things.
PARENTS must not make schools dumping sites; they must be involved in their children’s school work. Some parents bring their children to school and thereafter do not bother to check their progress.

Friends Laticia Letlhoka, Emely Baloi and Hlamolo Khoza are ready for schoolFriends Laticia Letlhoka, Emely Baloi and Hlamolo Khoza are ready for schoolThese were the sentiments of Connie Bapela, the City’s Speaker, who was addressing parents who had brought their children to Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra today to register for the first day of the 2012 school year.

Bapela assured parents that education was the best investment. “Education is the gift that we are giving our kids. Without education, doors do not open for them.”

She was with Nonhlanhla Mazibuko, the MEC for community safety in Gauteng, as well as other government officials.

Mazibuko said the aim of the visit to the school was to ensure that it was ready for the academic year. “We are visiting three schools here in Alex to ensure that every school reopen on this first day, there is learner support materials, that teachers are in schools on time, and to ensure that the infrastructure is what we expect any school to have.”

First on the agenda was a meeting with the school staff. She said teachers spoke of challenges that they faced at the school. They complained about the mobile classes, which were small and very cold in winter and hot in summer.

Some couldn't take being away from mom Some couldn't take being away from mom Children’s safety when crossing the main road was another of their concerns, as were rape and the problem of drugs lord who operated next to the school premises, explained Mazibuko.

She condemned parents who just sent their children to school and became glorified baby sitters while everything became the responsibility of teachers. “Parents must show interest in their kids’ school work and assist them where it’s necessary.”

The MEC also commended the school for a good start, saying the fact that the pupils were at the school premises at 7am so that they could be fed before classes began at 7.50am was an impressive start. “I hope we have better future leaders and learners understand the value of education.”

Needy children were also given uniforms to ensure that the day began smoothly.

Among parents who accompanied their children was Makhwata Mashatolo, who was with her five-year-old daughter, Hlamolo Khoza, who will be doing Grade R this year.

A Grade 1 class ready to begin lessonsA Grade 1 class ready to begin lessonsMashatolo, who was obviously excited, said she felt relieved that the day she was long waiting for was finally here. “Hlamolo is very excited about starting school. Yesterday she was asking when the school was opening.

“She even woke me up very early today because she was excited about coming to school. In the morning right from bed she wanted to wear her uniform and go to school,” said the proud.

Government officials also visited Alex’s Ikage Primary and East Bank High schools.

According to a statement from the Gauteng provincial government, the visit was held to conscientise citizens about the importance of education; mobilise communities to support schools, teachers and learners; and improve the quality of education for all children, youth and adults, especially the poor.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, accompanied by the MEC for education, Barbara Creecy, visited Itirele Zenzele Secondary School in Diepsloot and two schools in Cosmo City.

Related stories:

Mayor congratulates matrics
Matrics celebrate their marks
Clinic develops young talent