Namibia: 45 Schools in Kavango West to Remain Closed

Stefanus Nambara

Learners from pre-primary to grade 3 at 45 schools in Kavango West will continue learning from home because their schools could not meet the education requirements needed for schools to resume with contact lessons amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 45 schools failed to meet the standards that have been put in place to ensure schools reopen for face-to-face classes and it was decided the identified schools will not resume contact classes that have, for the past few months, been suspended to stem the spread of the virus that has disrupted teaching, tourism and retail, among numerous others.

The affected 45 schools do not have water and proper sanitation facilities.

"Which means now, these schools are not ready to receive the primary learners on the 6th of July until such time these issues have been solved," explained Kavango West education director Teopolina Hamutumua.

Learners at these schools will continue with their education from home, whereby teachers will prepare learning materials for them to continue with their education.

"Of course, it is not the same as having a learner in the classroom but as of now, that is what the directorate can do," Hamutumua said.

She said the schools affected are those smaller ones with a low learner enrollment population - with less than 100 leaners. 23 of them, she said, have an enrolment of lower than 35 learners.

This, she said, compromises the directorate in putting up permanent water and sanitation facilities as they may close at any time due to continuous lower enrollment of learners.

Each of the affected schools will get a water tank and the directorate will supply water.

She added the education directorate is also looking at affordable ways to put up temporary sanitation facilities in case a school closes in the future.

In exception of the 45 schools, most of the schools in the region have done their level best to comply so that they could reopen for contact lessons.

The directorate received N$43.1-million of the Covid-19 budget from the government.

The budgeted items are the construction and renovations of sanitation facilities at schools, the upgrading and renovation of hostels, water provision, cleaning materials and the provision of hostel furniture.

*Stefanus Nambara is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) based in Nkurenkuru in Kavango West region.

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