February 6, 1979
The start of the 1979 school year in Shepparton was not without its moments of drama.
Nearly 600 children started their first day of school today in the seven Shepparton primary schools — a slight increase on last year.
Most principals reported the morning went off well with all students settling into their classes.
However, this was not so for St Georges Rd Primary School, which did not have any electricity for the early part of the morning.
Bourchier St, Gowrie St and St Georges Rd primary schools all reported an intake of 90 school starters, which was slightly higher than last year's intake.
All schools reported they were adequately staffed.
Guthrie St Primary School principal Jock O'Connor said his school had seven new staff members, with an overall increase of two against last year.
He said after a hectic morning all pupils had settled down to their classes.
St Brendan's Primary School principal Sister Giovanni said there was only one set of tears from their 46 Prep pupils.
She said enrolment was the same as last year while the school had secured an extra staff member.
For pupils at St Georges Rd Primary School it was a dark and hot day in the classroom, with power off for the first hour-and-a-half.
A spokesman for the school said the power was cut while workmen turned the power on in the school's new building.
The spokesman said the building would be used by the pupils in the next week.
The Victorian Teachers’ Union has asked parents of primary school students to look over their primary school during the beginning of the school year.
The union asks parents to examine matters like the repair of school buildings, conditions of toilets, number of pupils in the classes and whether the school has a library and arts and craft room.
The VTU has called on parents as part of its $40 000 state election campaign called ‘Primary Education First'.
The union believes primary schools have for too long been the ‘Cinderalla’ of Victoria's education system.
It asks parents to contact their school council and their local members of parliament if they have any comments to make following a survey of their local school.
Shepparton Technical College and St Colman's College reported high enrolment increases of the Shepparton secondary schools.
Shepparton Technical College vice-principal Ron Branner said Year 7 enrolment was around the 180 mark, which is about 40 more students than last year.
St Colman's College principal Brother James reported a similar increase in enrolment of 45, which brings the student population to 380.
Shepparton High School principal Ron Michael said 195 Year 7 students were received, which is an increase of 25 against last year.
However, Mr Michael said the school's total enrolment of 880 had changed very little from last year's figure.