Namibia: Placement of Learners Under Control in //Kharas Region

21 January 2020

The expected rush for placement of learners at schools during the start of the new academic year seemed to have not tremendously affected the //Kharas regional education directorate.

In an interview with New Era, regional director /Awebahe //Hoeseb said most of the enrolment of learners was already done in 2019.

"It is more those parents who have been transferred by their employers or relocated to //Kharas region and the ones who did not apply for space for their children last year that are facing challenges to enrol their kids at our schools," he said. //Hoeseb explained parents whose children cannot be placed due to a lack of space are referred to the circuit offices (Keetmanshoop, Karasburg and Lüderitz) whereby the respective education inspectors will find placement for them.

"School principals are providing these inspectors with daily enrolment data indicating where spaces are available," he emphasised.

The regional director further raised the concern that parents looking for space are sometimes selective, wanting their kids to be placed at specific schools and not necessarily where spaces are available. "They (parents) want their kids to be placed in schools near their homes but this is not always possible," he explained.

The regional director then stressed there is a great need for an additional primary school in Keetmanshoop due to the huge migration of parents from rural areas to informal settlements in the town. "This population growth resulted in more learners seeking spaces and we are now forced to implement double shifts at some schools," said //Hoeseb. He further reported that the involvement of parents in the education processes of their children was satisfactory thus far. "They should however apply for space at schools in the region when the ministry advertise the respective dates to do so a year before the actual enrolment," he advised parents.

Constance Wantenaar, inspector for the Kalahari circuit, said some of the schools were still struggling with space. "At some schools we have to place more than 40 learners in a classroom which brings about the challenge of overcrowding," she explained.

According to her, more classrooms have been constructed at some schools to address these obstacles. Wantenaar further indicated the ministry is in the process of recruiting more teachers for pre-primary learners at Krönlein Primary School.

"In general, we do not have major complaints concerning the placement of grade 8 learners," she further explained.

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