UPDATE: All schools but one in Keetmanshoop closed

13 Oct 2016 13:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 13 OCT (NAMPA) – The Keetmanshoop Primary School (PKS) was the only public school that continued classes here on Thursday when the national teachers’ strike started.
Principals of the other eight schools sent their learners home on Thursday morning after receiving a circular from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Wednesday evening, advising schools to release children for Thursday and Friday. However, schools are expected to resume on Monday.
PKS Principal Pieter Zulch said he decided to keep the children at school for the day instead of compromising their safety by allowing them to walk home without the knowledge of their parents.
He told the children not to come to school on Friday.
“We noticed that a few children whose parents are teachers at other schools remained home, but classes continue as normal,” Zulch said.
He also said all 21 teachers of his school pitched up for teaching.
“I informed them on Monday to indicate if they will join the strike so that we could make logistical arrangements, but no one came back to me so far,” the principal said.
The teachers came despite many receiving the ministry’s circular.
“I am proud that my teachers came to school because it shows their motivation, but I am also not in opposition of any teacher striking. Teachers have a right to strike and they are absolutely free to do so,” Zulch said.
He added that the strike was to the benefit of the teachers who are fighting for higher pay, but not to the children.
Teachers are demanding an eight per cent increment but Government offered five per cent only, citing lack of funds.
Another principal who wished to remain anonymous told Nampa that he was heartened to see the many children who came to school on Thursday morning.
“We assembled and prayed and then I told them to go home. I am at school because it is my responsibility as head of the institution and as a professional to be present for all matters, including administration and support staff,” the principal said.
//Kharas Education Director /Awebahe //Hoeseb declined to comment on Thursday, referring Nampa to the circular issued by the ministry.
“The directive is out and we are following that,” is all the director was prepared to say.