13 September 2017

Namibia: Oruuwa School Could Be Closed

A RECENTLY inaugurated school at Ovitoto might be closed if it has fewer pupils next year than what it was intended for.

This was revealed by Otjozondjupa education director Simon Tsuseb over the weekend at the inauguration of the last project under the Namibia German Special Initiative Programme, the Oruuwa Pre-primary and Primary School at Ovitoto.

The school, which was completed late this year, only has about 60 pupils, while it was meant to cater to up to 240 pupils.

At the same time the school, with pupils enrolled in Grades 1 to 3, also only has two teachers, and no principal.

Tsuseb praised the school for having endured challenges, but quickly warned that should enrollment remain low in the 2018 school year, the school might be closed.

"You have a very low number currently at the school. It is not cost effective to run this facility due to the current cost-effective measures, so make sure to enroll learners at this facility to avoid a white elephant," he said.

Earlier this year the education ministry issued a circular in which it stated that in a bid to cut costs, uneconomical schools would be closed.

Kunene education director Angelina Steenkamp yesterday said there was only one school in her region that might face closure.

"Kunene is a vast region and to close that one school we must have taken measures to ensure they can be accommodated at another school. So it is difficult when the distance is so vast," said Steenkamp.

When asked about possible school closures in Omaheke region, regional education director Pecka Semba said research shows that all 44 schools in the region were optimally utilised and none faced closure.

Gerard Vries of the Khomas region said the same thing, adding that next year the region might need extra temporary structures to accommodate some of the pupils.

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