By early morning on January 9 Pilgrim’s Rest Primary School was already in full swing. The teachers and 210 pupils were already hard at work and, except for parcels for new textbooks still lying on teacher’s desks, it looked like a normal school day.
Even the new Grade 1 pupils, embarking on their long school career which will take them up to 2031, had their first exercise books open in front of them eagerly waiting to learn how to write. This group of 29 learners will be taught by Beauty Chiloane who has been a teacher at the school since 2005. “The first semester is usually a big challenge. Work progresses slowly as children often have to be guided individually until they adapt to the fixed routine of schoolwork,” said Chiloane.
Promise Malatsi, the new teacher starting this year, was filled with positive energy and ideas. She is one of two teachers at the school who are sponsored by Transvaal Gold Mining Estates. Although she is still studying through the University of South Africa to qualify as a teacher, she demonstrated her skill and passion while acting as a relief teacher a number of times during 2018.