Namibia: Angolan Pupils Attend School Without Permits

The directorate of education in Ohangwena has noted with concern that a large number of Angolan children are attending school in the region without study permits as it is required of foreign pupils.

Many of these pupils are said to be stateless as they do not have Angolan or Namibian identity documents.

The directorate has registered more than 1 160 Angolan children attending schools in Ohangwena region.

According to the director, Isack Hamatwi, most of these pupils live in Angola and cross the border to attend schooling in Namibia every day.

"Without national documents, sometimes it is difficult to establish who the Angolan pupils are because some could be Namibians who reside in Angola, while some Angolan children live with their relatives in Namibia.

"As these children progress with their education, they are likely to encounter difficulties regarding placement for further studies and employment prospects," he said.

He added that because of lack of national documents, some Angolan pupils are forced to attend literacy classes meant for adults.

Hamatwi urged the Angolan and Namibian governments to ensure that all their citizens are issued with national documents to end the issue of stateless persons.

"There is need for a memorandum of understanding between Angola and Namibia to allow the two governments to clearly state how the educational matters pertaining specifically to the Angolan pupils can be handled, so that their further studies and employment prospects are not affected in the future," said Hamatwi.

He added: "Stateless people may have difficulty accessing basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment, opening a bank account, buying a house or even getting married, and freedom of movement. Without these things, they can face a lifetime of obstacles and disappointment".

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