Parents threaten to close down Omaheke school

21 Jan 2015 10:40am
OTJIUANEHO, 21 JAN (NAMPA) – Parents of learners at Otjiuaneho Primary School in the Otjinene Constituency of Omaheke Region are threatening to close down the school if the government does not remove the school principal immediately.
The parents have accused School Principal Maria Ngava of favouritism and failure to place the interest of the learners first.
Ngava also stands accused of not cooperating with parents; lacking good school management skills and causing divisions amongst her staff.
The parents have vowed to withdraw all their 230 children at the school until their demands are fully met.
The parents, 120 individuals in total, also seem to enjoy the backing of the school board in their demands for the immediate removal of the school head.
School Board Chairperson, traditional councillor Nomozondi Tjazirapi, told Nampa on Wednesday that the parents have decided to stick to their decision to withdraw children from the school.
“We are merely a body representing the parents of learners at the school. If parents feel that something is not right and they want it corrected, we have to work on it to the best of our ability,” he said.
A planned demonstration by parents and other community members against the principal’s alleged “autocratic behaviour” was called off at the eleventh hour last week Thursday, because the marching continent had failed to notify the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) of their intentions, as per the normal procedure.
The community however convened an urgent meeting on the day, which was attended by the school inspector responsible for Otjiuaneho Primary School Isack Ueitele.
That meeting was also attended by principal, members of the school board, the teachers and various community leaders.
The meeting unanimously voted to push for the school principal’s removal from office or the withdrawal of all the learners from the school, in case the first option fails to materialise.
The parents, most of who reside in neighbouring villages, told Ueitele that they will not allow their children to be taught under the current conditions prevailing at the school, which they describe as “unconducive for teaching and learning”.
Although they raised this issue with the relevant education authorities in March last year already, they are still to get a satisfactory response on the matter, the parents allege.
Repeated attempts by Ueitele to salvage the situation failed to sway the fuming parents who were clearly irked by Ngava's alleged misconduct at the school.
“While we understand your concern, there are unfortunately procedures to be followed when addressing grievances. We cannot solve this issue overnight. Please be patient while we attend to the matter,” Ueitele told the meeting.
According to Ueitele, the matter has been forwarded to the office of the Permanent Secretary (PS) for a decision, which is still pending.
“An investigation was carried out into this matter and the findings have been communicated to the PS, who will make a decision soon on the matter,” said Ueitele.
On Tuesday this week, the parents regrouped and said they were planning to de-register their children from Otjiuaneho Primary School.
Nampa approached the principal for her side of the story, but she repeatedly refused to comment on the allegations levelled against her.