Namibia: German Embassy Still Backs DHPS

THE German embassy in Namibia says it will continue supporting the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS).

This comes after black pupils claimed they face racism amid concerns that the school condones the practice.

These allegations are contained in a report on a discussion on racism and prejudice organised by Grade 11 and 12 pupils on 2 July this year.

The report shows that black pupils have raised several race-related issues, which the school appears to ignore.

Four years ago, the school formed the German government-funded Action Group Encounter (AGE) to deal with discrimination and racism at the school.

The committee, comprising parents and teachers, has been ineffective and is being undermined because of the alleged reluctance of the school's authorities to implement its recommendations.

The 21-member body has been rocked by heated debates and resignations.

"We acknowledge the stance DHPS has taken against any form of discrimination and the measures implemented in the past years to address the challenges as described in the school's statement of 8 November 2020. We will continue to support DHPS in its endeavors to address these issues," the embassy stated.

It said the German government and all its institutions strongly oppose racism.

Paulus Lewin, acting director of the Khomas education directorate, at the time said his office was not aware of the recent racism claims against the school apart from what was published in the media.

He said the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture may only be able to launch an investigation into the matter if there is sufficient reason to do so.

"I am only aware of a racism claim that was reported in 2018. A mediation took place that same year, and the report has been concluded," he said briefly.

DHPS last week said the report on alleged racism and prejudice may destroy the progress the school has made towards integration.

"Sadly, these good intentions were turned into uninformed allegations and threaten to destroy all progress and achievements of the past years that DHPS has made in terms of inclusion," the statement said.

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