Omaheke battles to place learners in schools

19 Jan 2016 15:40pm
GOBABIS, 19 JAN (NAMPA) – No child will be left without a school, the Director of Education in the Omaheke Region, Peka Semba says.
He said the directorate will do everything in its power to cater for the overwhelming number of learners needing placement.
“All learners who are yet to secure a place in any grade will be placed by Friday at a school within the region. This is a matter of fact and not guesswork. I assure all parents that all your children will get placement at a school and will not be left on the street,” said Semba in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.
No exact figures were available of the number of learners who need placement.
The region has been battling to find places for Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners, with the latter grade posing more of a challenge for the education directorate.
Semba said the limited number of secondary schools in the region has made it almost impossible for these schools to absorb the high ratio of learners streaming in from various primary schools across the region looking for a place in Grade 8.
Omaheke only has 11 secondary schools, which are forced to absorb the pressure of hundreds of learners coming from 35 primary schools in the region.
Gobabis, the administrative capital of the Omaheke Region and the region’s largest economic centre, only has two Government secondary schools and one private secondary school. The town has five government primary schools.
The two secondary schools in Gobabis – Wennie Du Plessies and Epako - have already been filled over the limit with learners.
Each of the secondary schools has a capacity of about 600 learners, but both are bursting at the seams with about 1 000 learners already placed at each of the schools.
“We are faced with a serious problem of an overwhelming demand for places, especially for Grade 8 due to the limited high schools in the area. Gobabis is a serious problem, because parents want their children close to them and most of the parents work in Gobabis,” Semba said.
The education director conceded that the placement of learners in schools will have severe cost implications, as temporary teaching shelters such as tents will have to be set up and extra teachers hired for this purpose.