New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Lisikili Builds Community Hostel

In an effort to alleviate the chronic shortage of accommodation for learners in rural schools, the community of Lisikili located 20 kilometres east of Katima Mulilo took it upon itself to build a "makeshift" hostel.

The hostel, built with iron sheets, will accommodate not only learners from the Lisikili area, but also surrounding areas such as Sifuha and as far away as Kabbe. About 73 learners will be accommodated in the newly built hostel.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Lisikili Combined School community hostel, Caprivi Governor Lawrence Sampofu was full of praise for the community of Lisikili for building the hostel and for embracing education.

"Without education, there's no development. When our children are educated, we will have development because out of them we will have doctors, engineers and teachers.

Let's encourage our children to work hard," said Sampofu.

Sampofu assured the community of Lisikili of government's commitment to ensure that schools in Caprivi receive modern hostels.

"The regional council has made Lisikili and other areas such as Schuckmansburg and Kasika and others priority areas to benefit from modern state hostels," said Sampofu to loud cheers.

"I want to encourage our teachers to teach our children about unity and desist from tribalism. Don't bring tribalism to school. If we continue these tribal wars, fighting ourselves, development will go somewhere else," Sampofu implored.

School principal, Gibson Nkando, said the school needed to build the hostel in order to accommodate learners from the floodplain areas of the Kabbe Constituency.

"We felt the school needed a community hostel as it has the potential to accommodate learners from floodplain areas such as Kabbe and Sifuha," said Nkando.

Raphael Mbala, Kabbe Constituency Councillor and chairperson of the regional council, who has authored several Silozi books used in schools, echoed similar sentiments regarding the importance of education.

"Our children's future depends on education. I appeal to parents to encourage our children to take education seriously. I have authored so many books today used in schools thanks to education."

Mbala also revealed that the regional council availed N$63 000 to help in the construction of the community hostel.

The hostel comprises of two blocks for girls and boys. Each block has five rooms with six beds in each room.

It has the capacity to accommodate up to 73 learners.

According to Neo Mutonga, a teacher at the school, the hostel has already started accommodating learners since last year September when it was first built.

This, he says, has boosted the Grade 10 pass rate. Although the hostel lacks electricity, it has ablution facilities such as toilets.

The hostel boasts nine staff members, who started as volunteers but are currently given allowances by the Ministry of Education.

The education ministry also provides food to the hostel.

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