10 January 2018

Namibia: Future Looks Bleak for SAN Learners

Onkaankaa — The directorate of marginalised groups in the office of the vice-president is concerned about 14 learners facing a bleak future in not continuing to the next grade due to the long distance they have to walk to school.

Senia Endjala, the development planner for marginalised communities, visited Onkaankaa on Monday to consult parents on how the VP's office plans to assist the affected San children.

The San children are aged from nine to 15 years and most of them are currently employed at nearby cattle posts as herders.

However, despite the situation, Endjala registered these learners and promised the community that education officials would be urged to find placements for the children at schools with hostels.

Onkaankaa is about 83km from Okahao in the Omusati Region.

Endjala said that the learners include children who completed Grade 4 in 2016 and 2017. Some completed Grade 3 last year but could not continue because they did not find accommodation while they were enrolled at school.

"I am trying my level best to see if I can get placement for these learners. However, I am very much disappointed that officials from education are not willing to put many efforts into these specific learners. Their support matters most this time."

Endjala had informed the inspector of education of Otamanzi circuit but the person refused to accompany them, claiming to be meeting with new teachers at schools.

Endjala said the responsibility of San learners is not the directorate's alone but it needs support from relevant offices.

When New Era visited the office of the inspector Andreas Sebastian on Monday, he said it was a busy day because school had just started for teachers, therefore he would not be able to accompany the team to the field.

He further agreed that children who might not find accommodation at houses close to schools are likely to have a bleak future.

"The nearest school is about 30 kilometres away from that village and parents have to negotiate with others to secure accommodation for their learners," he

said.

The constituency councillor Johannes Iyambo also urged the parents to put more efforts into their children's education in order to motivate them so that they could have a bright future.

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