04 Jul 2013 04:50
MURURANI, 04 JUL (NAMPA) ? San school-learner dropouts at the Mururani Combined School have decreased drastically, following the introduction of transport to and from school.
The school is situated some 130 kilometres south of Rundu, and has one of the highest numbers of San learners, whose parents live and work on surrounding commercial farms.
The dropout rate usually escalates during the winter season because these marginalised members of the community live in difficult circumstances - without warm clothes and blankets, and inadequate food to eat.
Last year, 90 out of 179 San learners who were registered at the beginning of the year dropped out of school.
The acting principal of the Mururani Combined School, Mathias Ndumba told Nampa on enquiry Thursday that the dropout rate among San learners was high in previous years because most of them had to walk long distances - up to 70km - to and from the farms where they go to over long weekends and holidays.
Because of the long journey back to school, the San learners instead stayed on the farms and assisted their parents.
This year, 120 San learners were registered at the school, and less than 19 have thus far dropped out.
Ndumba said since the beginning of this year, the government has through the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister availed three pick-up vehicles and a minibus to transport the marginalised members of the community to and from their homesteads for holidays and long weekends.
The transportation costs are covered by that office through its San Development Programme.
?The transportation programme is really helping the San community because they are now able to attend school without missing any lesson,? Ndumba noted.
The Mururani Combined School has a hostel, where about 300 learners - including the 120 San learners - are accommodated.
The school?s hostel is, however, only meant to accommodate 64 learners.
Some of the learners thus sleep in tents.
Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku said during a visit to the school in June last year that his office intends to extend and renovate the hostel so that it could accommodate a higher number of marginalised learners.
The Mururani Combined School offers Grades One to 10, and has a total of 620 learners.