Rundu — Plans are afoot to construct another school at Rundu's Tuhingireni informal settlement to decongest overcrowding at Ndama Combined School, which is the most overcrowded school in Kavango East Region. At the school learners have to sit on the floor and on desks.
Ndama is overcrowded because it has to cater for the children of shack dwellers from nearby informal settlements that have mushroomed around the school.
Last week New Era published a story on the overcrowded conditions at Ndama where teachers do not have an office where they can hold staff meetings and perform administrative duties.
The school currently has 3,089 learners, according to the acting headmaster Jacinto Zombo who decried the limited resources availed by the education ministry.
Regarding the current situation at Ndama, the director of education in Kavango East, Fanuel Kapapero, said he is aware that Ndama is the most overcrowded school in Kavango East.
"Last year alone it had over 2,500 learners. This is why early this year we decided to split the school into a junior primary with its own principal and the combined school for grades 4 to 10 learners. The problem at Ndama typifies conditions at schools in Rundu," he said.
"Remember Rundu is one of the fast-growing towns in Namibia. Second only to Windhoek. The rate at which the people are occupying Tuhingireni and Ndama informal settlements is such that demand for space for the children is huge, so the plan is to have another school built in Tuhingireni area," he said.
Kapapero said his office is currently analysing the day school statistics, which will give them a clear picture on the number of teachers needed in the region. "On that basis we will make a request to the PS for additional teachers. On the other hand, we are also battling with the issue of classroom shortage. As for the chairs, one way to address it is for the school to use the grant from the ministry to do repairs and also buy new chairs where possible. We are also in discussions with the head office to see if we can acquire funds to purchase chairs and I have already prepared a submission to that effect," he said.
For a number of years the education ministry had plans to build another school at the informal settlement of Sauyemwa but this has not concretised.
"It is a capital project, it is still on, depending on the availability of funds in the new financial year. From our side we have decided to start while waiting for the capital project. We have mobilised the community to clear the plot - if you go there now it is ready and we want to put up some prefabricated structures and for that we have some little funds that we can use," he said.