The Namibian (Windhoek)

2 August 2012

Namibia: Divundu Pupils Demonstrate Over Hostel Conditions

PUPILS at the Divundu Combined School are demanding that their dilapidated girls' hostel block be renovated as a matter of urgency, claiming that its current state puts their health at risk.

In addition to its rundown state, another complaint is that bathrooms at the hostel do not have toilets, forcing the girls staying there to go to a different block when nature calls.

To make matters worse, the existing toilets do not have any doors.

The school is situated at Divundu, 200 kilometres east of Rundu.

The pupils and their parents on Monday held a demonstration on the school premises, and were planning to hand over a petition to Mukwe constituency councillor Christian Muriki.

But the councillor was apparently not informed about the planned demonstration and did not visit the school to receive the petition.

School board chairperson Sylvester Kavuyu read the petition to members of the media who were in attendance.

Kavuyu said the hostel's sewage system stopped functioning last year as it is old, and has not been replaced since the hostel's establishment in 1980.

"Old pipes in the hostel need immediate attention from the ministry," he said.

At the school itself, there are no toilets and teachers and pupils say they walk long distances to relieve themselves in the bush.

Some teachers have apparently resorted to utilising the toilets at the nearest service station at Divundu, where they are charged N$2.

Other complaints were that the ceilings and floors in some of the classrooms are in a deplorable condition.

Nampa has established that the school management committee and school board members later agreed to temporarily close the hostel block and convert two classrooms to accommodate pupils in the interim.

Nampa

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