Namibia: High School Construction Delay Forces Platoon Classes

PUPILS who completed grades 8 and 9 at some Swakopmund primary schools last year and were allocated space at the new high school being constructed in Tamariskia's new extension, will have to attend platoon classes from next month until the school is completed.

For the last three years, grade 8 and 9 pupils were accommodated at some primary schools due to a lack of space at schools at the coast.

Parents of these children were initially happy that they had gotten places in the new school, but the delay in construction has caused concern.

Parents were told last year that the new school would be completed by December 2022, but were informed yesterday that construction is not yet complete, and their children will have to attend platoon classes.

This news was frustrating for many parents, especially because classes will only start in February, resulting in their children "hanging around at home and falling behind in an already crumbling school system".

Erongo education director Ernfriede Stephanus said the education ministry's planning and development division, and the contractor, are currently meeting to address the issue, and pupils will be accommodated at Coastal High School in the afternoons to ensure continuity of teaching and learning.

The appointment of teachers is currently underway and classes could possibly start earlier than February.

Teachers who taught the grade 8 and 9 pupils previously at primary schools may reportedly be moved with the new high school pupils to the platoon classes and the new school.

This contingency plan reportedly ensures additional space for Grade 1 pupils at local primary schools, and a return to the pre-primary education to Grade 7 primary school system.

The new primary school, which is also currently under construction at Matutura, will open its doors in 2024, while the new high school is expected to open in April.

"Parents should remain calm as arrangements will be made to ensure that each pupils is accommodated," said Stephanus.

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