With thousands of children returning to the classroom as the new school year kicks off across the Western Cape, students at Mountain Road Primary School are showing their eagerness to knuckle down and excel during the new academic year.
“I want to study my hardest and get good marks, and play sports and take part in clubs after school. I want to start studying all my work before exams,” said young pupil, Keyaam.
Some students say doing well at school is not only a weight on their shoulders but on their families as well.
“I really want to try my hardest and make my family proud. I really don’t want to fail,” says Ismaeel.
Beyond the array of emotions seen amongst first time school goers entering Grade R and 1, many parents accompanying their children on the first day were as excited to finally have their kids enter the schooling system.
“I have my little one that is coming to Grade R. He is a little monster. The school has him now so I can go and work in peace. I’m really excited,” said one parent by the name of Sedick.
Some parents also expressed relief that their children would now be in classrooms for most of the day, which would keep them away from the dangers of playing in the streets.
“I’m relieved to have them not staying at home, because when they are at home they play outside and anything can happen. They are better at school than at home,” stressed another parent by the name of Blessing.
Parents of returning learners expressed concern at the increased funds they would need to fork out on expenses like stationary and other essentials.
“My children can wear their clothes for years until they outgrow them, but stationary has to be replaced every year. I spent about R400 on stationary,” suggested one parent.
Travel costs was also listed as an issue of concern for many, with some students needing to travel from areas as far as Mitchells Plain and Lotus River to attend the school.
Mountain Road Primary was established in 1883 as a single sex facility, however the school is now co-ed. It caters specifically to learners from Grade R to 7. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)