6 October 2017

Namibia: Pupils Enjoy Lessons in Classrooms Without Walls

PUPILS at the Munganya Junior Primary School listen attentively to their teacher during a lesson on nouns.

The school is at the Munganya village under the Shinyungwe circuit, about 140 kilometres from Rundu. They do not seem to care that their 'classroom' has no walls and that the blackboard is hung on a tree. The furniture consists of a few desks and chairs where the pupils sit close to each other. The 'classroom' is next to the busy Rundu-Katima Mulilo road.

Nickolas Sinonge teaches Grade 3 and Grade 4. The pupils sit in one class. There are 15 Grade 3 and 12 Grade 4 pupils in his class. After the lesson, the teacher assigns the pupils some written work.

Once done with the Grade 3 lesson, Sinonge proceeds to the Grade 4s for a biology lesson on the respiratory system.

Patiently, he takes the pupils through the lesson. When one pupil takes time to answer a question, he waits patiently.

Sinonge says it is not easy, but with a passion for the profession, it is all possible.

"As we teach, we also understand them. That is why we do not rush them. We know they understand what we are teaching them, but sometimes the problem is to express themselves. But we do not give up," he adds.

Sinonge believes that for him, teaching is a calling.

Although the 'classroom' is close to the busy highway, there is no distraction because they are now used to the noise.

"We were first stationed far from the road, but that tree does not have leaves anymore, which is why we moved to this big tree.

Here, they are learning very well. First, we struggled with concentration, but not anymore. I guess they (children) have become used to the traffic," Sinonge says. Kangombe Moyo (12), is in Grade 3. She told The Namibian that she enjoys coming to school.

"I love our teacher. He teaches us how to speak and write English, and about our environment. At break-time, I enjoy looking at the different cars passing by the road. We also get free books to write in, as well as pencils," she says.

Sinonge explains that after pupils pass Grade 4, they go to another school some six kilometres from the Munganya village.

Seeing pupils understanding and grasping some of the concepts in the lessons is enough motivation and keeps him going, he beams.

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