Namibia: Former Teacher Offers Free Lessons

A former teacher is offering free lessons to a group of pupils from various schools at his makeshift structure at Khorixas.

Karel Tjitana (39) told The Namibian that he started offering free lessons to assist parents who are struggling to help their children with their schoolwork.

"Most parents at Donkerhoek informal settlement are illiterate so they send their children to me for lessons. I assist them with various subjects in their schoolwork," Tjitana, who is currently unemployed, said who added that the free lessons are also taking children off the streets.

He said most children think they are on vacation and he wants to keep them occupied. "My contribution is for the future leaders, so it's a huge investment," Tjitana said.

When The Namibian visited Tjitana's home last week, six children sat around a table which serves as a desk observing social distancing in line with Covid-19 regulations.

Some pupils bring chairs from home while others use chairs Tjitana provides. One of the pupils is seated on a broken chair doing an assignment.

Tjitana's lessons are from 08h00 to 10h00 and from 14h00 to 15h00 throughout the week, including weekends.

Tjitana said the lessons are for pupils from Grade 1 to 8.

"I teach all subjects. I assist Grade 8 pupils from Welwitschia Junior Secondary School. Nobody is excluded," Tjitana emphasised.

Grade 3 pupil Anton /Nuab (12) from Versteende Woud Primary School, told The Namibian the lessons Tjitana gives them have been helpful.

"He teaches us well. Today we are doing maths," /Nuab said as another pupil, Naango Willem (10) chipped in: "My teachers cannot teach us due to this disease (Covid-19) so I come here. The lessons are good," he said.

Pensioner Adelheid Gamases (62) said she cannot assist her grandchildren with their schoolwork because she is illiterate.

"Some of us who are illiterate send our children to Tjitana," she said.

Tjitana said he faces a challenge of a shortage of stationary and will also need to build a proper shade for the pupils to protect them from the sun. Another challenge is that of chairs.

Tjitana taught at several schools at Kamanjab, Sesfontein and Grootfontien. He holds a basic teaching diploma and was also an adult literacy teacher.

Tjitana has a total of nine pupils in different grades who take turns to get lessons and give others space.

On Monday, the Namibian Red Cross Society branch at Khorixas installed a tippy tap as well as a hand sanitiser for the pupils.

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