Ndlambe Primary Schools gear up for the 2023 academic year

It’s all systems go for Ndlambe primary schools as they look ahead to the 2023 academic calendar.

LITTLE NEWCOMERS: Grade 1 pupils Izibele Dyani, Ayonanga Magutwa, Ozethandwa Dyongman, Buhle Nomnganga and Lilonke Jacobs started their first day at Port Alfred Primary School on January 18. They showed no sign of fear as their parents dropped off by the school gate. Picture: TK MTIKI

Learners in coastal provinces, which includes the Eastern Cape returned to their desks on Wednesday, January 18 for the start of the 2023 academic year and primary schools in Ndlambe are well prepared to tackle the upcoming year. 

Talk of The Town asked primary school principals in the area about their state of readiness for the year ahead and their plans for the school calendar. Public schools referred us to the education department spokesperson, who in turn referred us to the official statement below. However, independent schools responded.

For Happy Hours Pre-Primary School, the excitement started a week ahead as the pre-school welcomed its learners back on Tuesday, January 10. 

Alexandria Christian Academy followed, with their staff and learners getting back to school on Wednesday, January 11. “The school started on the 11th of January with a literal BANG when we all popped balloons as part of our opening celebrations,” said Principal Rae Emslie.

The school also welcomed five new educators to their staff. Emslie said the addition of five new qualified teachers to the staff plus two BEd degree interns meant they are ready for action in the Learning Centres. 

“Our online high school students have their login details and all the necessary textbooks and have started reading their English setworks. The rest of the students, from gr 1 to gr 7 have started working on their various subjects. Even our Gr Rs and below are already engaging with their learning materials,” she said. 

The school is all geared up for the new academic calendar, with experiential learning trips already planned for the first term, the principal revealed. “The school’s calendar for term 1 is set, with visits to Bayworld in Port Elizabeth planned for the end of January, our AGM set for the 22nd of February, World Book Day celebrations on the 3rd of March and a visit to Amakhala for World Water Day in March,” Emslie said.  

“In addition to this our Intermediate students will participate in the South African Maths Foundation Challenge in the third week of March. We are very excited that our school has been selected to host the Accelerated Education Enterprises Eastern Cape Conference on the 13th of March, expecting about 300 delegates from all other AEE schools in the Eastern Cape.

“By the time school closes on the 24th of March we will all be ready for a well-deserved break!,” Emslie said. 


At a media briefing in East London on Friday, January 13, the MEC for the Eastern Cape Department of Education, Fundile Gade, said the department’s preparations for the 2023 academic year were well underway. 

At the briefing to outline the province’s state of readiness for the 2023 academic calendar, Gade said the department had developed a plan for the delivery of Learner, Teacher and Support Material (LTSM), to ensure that teaching and learning takes place on the first day of schooling. 

“The department has managed to deliver according to the plan thus positioning all ECDoE schools to commence 2023 academic year with the required resources to support teaching and learning. The current status of deliveries as of today is as follows: – Workbooks – 99% Textbooks – 98.9% Stationery – 96% {100% in 7 Districts},” he said. 

Gade said the seven districts had already received their full consignments by the end of the school term in 2022, whilst all outstanding deliveries started on January 4.

Gade also revealed that the department provides meals to 1 626 465 learners in quintile 1-3 public ordinary schools as well as targeted special schools. 

“It is impossible to teach a hungry child and therefore the Department continues to support the implementation of the National School Nutrition Programme and calls on all communities to echo this sentiment by safeguarding schools containing the food items and cooking equipment. Education is a societal matter and therefore it takes an entire community to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of each and every learner,” he said.