Ntombizanele Magcwaca, 20, said she was ready to work hard.
“I was heartbroken when the results came out. I even considered going to another school,” she said.
“I decided to stay because I love the school. I believe we can turn this around by having extra classes . . . and applying ourselves.”
Provincial education spokesman Mali Mtima said the department had sent a team to township schools and would compile a report on those in dire need.
In the northern areas, school – for the most part – got off to a good start, with late registration a major problem.
At Malabar Primary, more than 30 parents waited anxiously for their turn to meet principal Crispin Abrahams.
He said the school had sent out a notice last year about registration, but “some parents did not adhere to this call”.
At least three primary and one high school had to start without books or stationery.
At Parkside and Gelvandale primary schools, no textbooks or stationery had arrived, while Papenkuil Primary was waiting for stationery.
Principals said they had been assured the items would be delivered by the end of the week.
At Woolhope Secondary in Malabar, principal Julian Govender said they were waiting for certain textbooks.
It was also not all smiles at Booysen Park High, where principal Ivan Martins had to deal with 72 late registrations.
“The school is already over capacity with 1 212 pupils registered, which is more than 40 kids per class,” he said.
In Greenbushes, there was no first day of school for about 1 000 pupils after their transport failed to arrive.
The pupils – from the Kuyga community – attend the Yellow Woods, St Albans, Island Reserve, Colleen Glen and Van Stadens schools. Angry residents vowed to march to the Department of Education offices in search of a solution.
Some parents marched to St Albans Primary, threatening to close the school should transport issues not be addressed.
St Albans school governing body chairman Cyril Fortuin held an impromptu meeting with the parents and reassured them he would give them answers today.
School resumed and teachers handed out stationery and textbooks.
At most suburban schools academic activities started promptly, with Grade 1s introduced to teachers and tackling fun tasks.
Grade 1 pupils at Clarendon Park Primary in Walmer were colouring in and developing number skills, while their counterparts at Summerwood in Summerstrand began the day by drawing a picture of themselves.
Erica Girls Primary in Mount Croix was abuzz with activity.
At Parsons Hill Primary a few tears were shed, but otherwise the morning went well.