Namibia: Six Schools in Omusati Not Ready to Reopen

A total of six schools in the Omusati region with a total number of 1 936 pupils are not ready to resume as schools countrywide reopen today.

The reopening of these schools is said to be hampered by multiple challenges.

Omusati education director Laban Shapange said the schools are not safe for teachers and pupils to return as many of them do not have the necessary supplies.

"We have already informed parents via radio and other modes of communication that these schools are not ready to reopen, hence the pupils are encouraged to remain calm as the authorities are working around the clock to ensure that all is in place. We apologise for the inconveniences caused," he said.

In spite of that, about 6 637 pupils accommodated at 41 schools of which 17 are government boarding schools, including one community hostel, are expected to report to school today.

More than 103 institutional workers and 155 teachers are said to be affected.

Some of the schools that are regarded as unsafe for the return of both teachers and pupils in the region include Negumbo Secondary School, Haundano Secondary School, Onesi Secondary School, David Sheehama Secondary School, Oshipelo Combined School and Shikongo Iipinge Secondary School.

These schools are faced with severe challenges the directorate could not address within a short space of time.

Some of the challenges include inadequate water flow, a lack of functioning ablution facilities, leaking water pipes, insufficient personal protective equipment and masks, leaking sewage, and water pumping machines not functioning properly.

Shapange said the directorate has managed to deliver all necessary equipment such as soaps, disinfectant, sanitisers and masks to most of the schools in the region.

"Other than that, we are ready. The directorate is hard at work maintaining and fixing all that needs to be fixed at the affected schools," he said.

Meanwhile, in Windhoek some schools such as Jan Möhr Secondary School said they are ready to reopen.

The school's principal Lukas Hashiti told The Namibian yesterday the school is equipped with masks (both washable and disposable), sanitisers and thermometers.

"Teachers not teaching Grades 11 and 12 will be on duty at entry points, the foyer and at the hostels to take temperatures," said Hashiti, adding the school's security guards will receive training to properly screen everyone entering the school grounds.

He said the government has provided the school with detergents to clean the school's two hostels.

To maintain social distancing, classroom teaching will take place in the three school halls.

Some 135 Grade 11s and 208 Grade 12s will return to this school.

Hashiti said pupils are not allowed to share stationery, but are allowed to bring their own sanitisers and masks.

"Without more interruptions, we will finish," Hashiti said regarding the syllabus pupils need to complete before exams.

He said their office will remain open for engagement with pupils and parents.

Principal of Cosmos High School Helmuth /Nanub yesterday said in addition to the school grounds being sanitised, they have obtained masks, sanitisers and thermometers. He said the school plans to buy clear plastic sheets for teachers to cover their faces as the school accommodates pupils with hearing impairments.

Teachers will be rotated as an additional safety measure, said /Nanub.

Around 78 Grade 11s and 63 Grade 12s will return to the school and will be educated on Covid-19 at their return.

/Nanub said pupils will not struggle to complete this year's syllabus.

"Our teachers are very positive. I'm very positive," he said.

He said he has missed the students and the noise of the school grounds.

"I believe we will get good results from our pupils," /Nanub said.

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