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ENTERING Mzansi’s schools, first time pupils are caught up between sadness and excitement.Teachers usually have their hands full with those crying to go back home and to their parents.But teacher Itumeleng Madumo of Mogale Primary School in Mamelodi East, Tshwane had a great plan.On the first day of school, she dressed like one of the pupils, making them comfortable as she looked exactly like them.The grade 1 teacher said her plan works, especially with the new pupils.When Itumeleng wore a uniform, things changed.She said pupils thought she was one of them and relaxed. “The uniform saves me a lot of stress.“It works wonders.“Pupils are not afraid of me and talk to me easily when I’m in uniform.” She said for the first few weeks, she wears only the uniform.She said despite the stress and hard work that comes with teaching new pupils, she would not swap it for anything. “I love teaching, especially young children. “It makes me happy when they can read and write, when they came here not knowing a thing,” she said. Parent Malesa Kunipi (25), said her son Mongezi Shabalala (7) was happy to start school. She said although she feared he would cry, he didn’t. “I went to this school and I know it is very good. My son is happy and I’m happy for him.” Mongezi said he can’t wait to write.


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