In the South African township of Soweto, thousands of black schoolchildren turned out to register on the first day of the new term on Wednesday (24 January).
In the South African township of Soweto, thousands of black schoolchildren turned out to register on the first day of the new term on Wednesday (24 January). South African education authorities had feared that the students' threat to boycott all schools this term, as a protest against apartheid and conditions in Soweto, would become a reality, despite a call by the Soweto Students' League for the children to attend.
SYNOPSIS: Black schools in the Vaal Triangle had to turn away children because of lack of accommodation. The reason is here, in Soweto. The black township on the outskirts of Johannesburg has been given priority for school building projects.
The children seemed more than anxious to register and the West Rand Administration Board, the government body responsible for Soweto, says the number of pupils now back at school exceeds even the pre-riot figures of 1976.
Despite the large numbers of children involved, all the schools reported a peaceful day, with none of the incidents that accompanied the re-opening of schools in the past two years. The only excitement came from the students' anxiety to get registration forms on this...the last day when application for a school place was possible. (Wednesday, 24 January). Official figures have not yet been released but estimates put the number of Soweto schoolchildren who have registered for school at 170,000.
In all, nearly a million and a half black schoolchildren in South Africa, excluding those living in the black homelands, look like turning up for school on Monday (29 January).