11 January 2019

Namibia: More Schools Needed Across the Country

KAVANGO East regional education director Fanuel Kapapero yesterday said they need three more schools at Rundu alone to accommodate the increasing number of pupils.

Kapapero said the biggest challenge is overcrowded classrooms at Rundu where there could be more than 50 pupils.

This, he said, is not a conducive environment for learning and teaching.

"We are still waiting for the Sauyemwa Junior Primary capital project to come off the ground.

"As for Grades 1 and 8, we are still in the process of registering learners. We will have a better picture by Friday today. I am aware that spaces for Grade 1 and 8 are limited due to the shortage of classrooms," he said.

Kapapero further noted that some of the goals for this year are to construct additional classrooms and strengthen the capacity of school principals. "Finally, I want to appeal to the parents to be patient with schools as we implement the senior secondary curriculum. We may not have all the facilities and enough teachers, but with time we will get there. As a region we are committed to providing quality education," he said.

In the Otjozondjupa region, Nampa reports, more classrooms are needed to accommodate Grade 8 pupils. Several teachers in the region on Wednesday told Nampa about the increasing number of pupils looking for spaces in Grade 8 since the schools opened on Tuesday.

The teacher dealing with the registration of learners in Grade 8 at Paresis Senior Secondary School, Ichnecuis Kavitjene, said his school had by Wednesday registered enough pupils to fill eight classrooms this year. "Each of these eight classrooms will have to take about 37 learners on average, and registrations are still ongoing until Friday," he said.

Kavitjene said the majority of pupils at his school are from the local primary schools feeding junior and secondary schools in the region. Monica Geingos Junior Secondary School teacher, Rumold Tjazuka said his school in 2018 had six classrooms for Grade 8. This year, they plan to add another classroom.

"Another classroom means additional teaching and learning resources, something we do not have," he said.

Karundu Junior Secondary School in 2018 had eight Grade 8 classrooms. With the pupils registered since Tuesday, they envision two more classrooms.

A member of Otjozondjupa's placement committee for Grade 8, Udo Behnke, in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday said his committee faces a huge challenge in finding spaces for every Grade 8 pupil in the region.

"Half of the learners looking for spaces are from other regions and show up with transfer letters," he said.

Behnke stated that on average, more than 100 pupils had sought space in local schools this week.

He, however, gave the assurance that his committee is doing its best to find spaces for all.

//Karas director of education /Awebahe //Hoëseb during a meeting for principals revealed that the region needs at least two schools.

//&Hoëseb explained that the region's population is increasing, hence the need to build at least two primary schools at Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz.

"Last year, we built four new classrooms at the Krönlein Primary School at Keetmanshoop. But from the look of things, this will not help or solve the problem," he stated.

The influx is mostly because of socio-economic reasons, with many people being transferred to the southern region for work.

"People are looking for greener pastures, and for the past few years, we asked for the construction of a primary school, especially here at Keetmanshoop. Every year, we are promised that funds will be allocated for the construction, but still it remains a dream," //Hoëseb said.

Keetmanshoop Primary School principal Pieter Scholtz told Nampa that with the irrigation scheme that will follow the completion of the Neckartal Dam, businesses will grow and institutions such as the University of Namibia will expand at the town.

There will thus be a need for more schools, and it is time for the government to do something about it.

"We are looking at close to 10 000 people who will be employed at this irrigation scheme, which means we will need schools to accommodate the children of those employees," he added.

Scholtz said spaces for pre-primary and Grade 1 placements remain a challenge every year at his school, and that he has no extra space in those grades this year.

"It is painful for me to tell parents to take back their children as there is no space," he observed.

- Additional reporting by Nampa

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