Ongwediva — In its quest to curb the spread of Covid-19 in schools, the Ohangwena region on Monday witnessed the handover of four hostels and ablution facilities to cater for a combined 320 learners.
In exception of Ondobe Secondary School, which will cater to 128 learners, Oupili, Oshisho and Onambutu Combined School each received two blocks to cater to 64 learners.
Five more schools are expected to benefit from the same programme.
The region will have an allocation of N$48 million to complete the construction of both the hostel and ablution facilities.
The money is part of the N$800 million that was availed to the ministry of education to ensure schools are in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations as prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Education minister Anna Nghipondoka said, amongst the ministry's priority was to construct ablution facilities and avail water at schools.
"The government availed funds for us to improve on those aspects which are considered crucial by WHO in order to curb Covid-19," said Nghipondoka.
In ensuring the learners adhere to social distancing, the government saw it viable to construct hostels at schools that are now catering for grade 10 and 11, who previously did not have hostels, while those who have hostels have been upgraded, said the minister. The education director in Ohangwena region, Isak Hamatwi, said the schools that received hostels are those that were upgraded to senior secondary school to cater to grade 11 and 12.
Some of the learners at these schools were housed in makeshift classrooms to ease their way to school.
The construction of the hostels also saw the construction of ablution facilities.
"All our schools have been provided with ablution facilities; we now only have schools that are in need because their population has increased or their facilities have become old," said Hamatwi.
At present, the region continues to experience a shortage of hostels, as the availability of hostels is not on par with the learner population in the region.