Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

25 January 2013

Namibia: Amazing Private School Grows On Development Bank Funding

What Started As a Home based daycare centre has evolved into a fully fledged private school with more than 500 learners and 50 teachers.

In 2007, Mrs Kakona, an experienced teacher, started a pre-primary and after-school centre in her home, with the support of her husband Mr Kakona. Their vision was to provide spiritual and academic excellence through the promotion of a Christian lifestyle, quality education and preparation of learners for the world.

Their vision for Amazing Kids Private School was shared by parents who recognise that quality education is paramount for the future of their children, and the school began to grow. In 2008 it enrolled 94 learners. In 2009 it had 143 learners, growing to 427 in 2011 and 537in 2012. Learners ranged from pre-primary to Grade 8.

Continued demand and long waiting lists for every grade prove that there is continued demand for the education that the school provides. "There is a lot of room for growth, and we are working on creating an environment that will allow us to take on more learners," said Mrs Kakona.

Due to the space limitation, the school has not been able to accommodate more students so the school approached the DBN for a facility to purchase land and construct a new school that will enable it to accommodate more learners, as well as also offer services to grade 9 and 10's. The application was approved and the construction is being completed.

The new school will provide more space, bigger classes, will have a library, laboratories, sport facilities, such as a swimming pool, sport field, access to new media technologies and education, and a chapel.

The project was not without its challenges. "We had infrastructural and financial challenges, lack of proper facilities, finding ideal teachers and resignations of teachers seeking greener pastures," said Mrs Kakona.

During the construction of phase one of the school, there were challenges in the form of high overhead costs and parents defaulting on payments to the school. However, she highlights the approvals by the Ministry of Education, allocation of land by the City of Windhoek, receiving DBN finance and beginning with the construction of the school as positive factors.

"To survive the challenges and to enjoy the fruits, the process of setting up a school requires hard work, focus and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that all will be overcome, which is what we did," added Mrs Kakona.

The Kakonas employ 32 female teachers and 18 male currently, an increase from 21 female and 10 male teachers in 2012.

"The DBN prides itself on supporting the objectives of the government, in this case providing opportunities for access to education, by supporting initiatives such as Amazing Kids Private School. This is particularly important in a country with a shortage of education facilities for all learners," concluded DBN Acting CEO Martin Inkumbi.

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