Keetmanshoop — As early as six O'clock (18h00) parents started showing up at the school's premises eagerly awaiting the programme to start at seven O'clock (19h00).
One could not mistake the satisfaction on their faces as they were about to witness something special. For several parents it was their first time to attend to a prize- giving ceremony whilst others came to observe and share in the celebrations although their children did not receive any prizes at all. The annual St. Matthias Primary School prize-giving ceremony took place in the school hall on November 8 with close to a 100 parents and community members in attendance. One would have sworn that a swarm of honey bees had descended on a honeycomb, albeit one of the parents with regards to the noise the youngsters were making. The programme started as was scheduled but not after some efforts by the director of ceremonies to calm down the excited learners, whereafter he went on to welcome and thank those in attendance.
The parents were especially thanked for their timeliness and willingness to show up for the event. "Thanks you for your presence, we are on time and not on African time", the director said. In his welcoming remarks the Acting Principal, Wolfgang Cloete, welcomed everyone including the learners, parents, community members as well as Reverent Joseph Saju. Reverent Saju did a prayer and scripture reading which was taken out of the Biblical verse, Corinthians 9 verses 6 and 7. The school caters for more than 700 pupils, 200 plus of whom were awarded for their hard-work and commitment throughout the 2012 school year. Certificates were awarded to Grades 1-4 for best/top achievers, most improved learners as well as awards for flag hoisting and savings. The senior primary learners received certificates, a social studies award, Dux-learner 2012, certificates for scholar patrols and prefects.
English and patrol team teacher Clarence Jepthas-Crail, when clarifying the purpose of the prize giving, emphasised that credit must be given to the parents. He mentioned that throughout the year, exam results were discussed in the school hall during the presence of parents, thus parents as stakeholders are complimenting the schools ongoing efforts in providing quality education.
"We are not only talking about passing primary school grades, our aim is for you to continue to become qualified Namibians, who will one day sustain yourself and your country," he said. As customary with all annual St. Matthias prize-giving ceremonies, the Dux-learner was also awarded with a floating trophy, a certificate and a cheque, sponsored by a local business securitas. The recipient of the Dux-learner award is headgirl Pawaopeni Paulina Adrian. Paulina is looking forward to further her school career at high school level with the aim of even scooping more awards. Asked about the meaning of the name Pawaopeni, she had this to say. "It means where on earth is it beautiful". I suppose the answer she can give herself is that the past five years have been beautiful for her at St. Matthias.