21 June 2012

Namibia: Mobile School Moves Into Tent After Giving Up 'UDF Classroom'

Children who were taught under a tree because the temporary classroom they were using was painted in UDF party colours have finally moved into a tent provided by the Ministry of Education.

The pupils of the Ondao Mobile Primary School's Onguta Unit had been taught under a tree since the beginning of the second school term at the end of May.

This came after Members of Parliament who visited Onguta village informed Opuwo education circuit inspector Uerivangera Tjivikua that the children were being taught in a house which was in fact a United Democratic Front (UDF) office and was painted in the party colours.

The school is situated in Onguta village, some 160 kilometres south of Opuwo.

Tjivikua told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday that an Onguta Unit teacher decided to use the house as a classroom because weather conditions made it difficult to teach the children under the tree they had been using.

"The teacher used his own discretion to teach the learners in the UDF office given that there was no tent and it was raining, so he could not teach under the tree," said Tjivikua.

Nampa understands that before the house was sold to UDF, the owner of the house offered it to the school to use as a classroom, and the arrangement seemingly continued after the house was sold to the party.

"The owner of the house decided to sell it and UDF bought it and painted its political party colours on it, but still allowed the school to use it as a classroom," Ondao Mobile Primary School acting principal Abia Kambaekua said when approached for comment on Wednesday.

The acting principal said the classroom was relinquished to UDF at the beginning of the second school term and teachers at the Onguta Unit were instructed to discontinue their use of the house as a classroom. Teachers then had to revert to using the tree for lessons.

"A tent was delivered to the school by the Ministry of Education on Friday and is now being used as a classroom, similar to other mobile units in the region," said Kambaikua.

Tjivikua stated that the use of a political party office was an oversight by the teacher, and added that he was warned that it was not to be tolerated as it will deter parents affiliated to other political parties from allowing their children to be taught there.

He said the tent, along with tents for other mobile units falling under Ondao Mobile Primary School, were ordered and only arrived last week.

The Kunene Region has 72 mobile school units. The units are schools at different villages in the region, and are mostly made up of different classrooms catering for learners from Grade One to Grade Three.

The units all fall under Ondao Mobile School and have a principal, heads of department and an office in Opuwo.


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