Kaparara Primary School to close down due to water shortages

08 Oct 2013 07:10am
KAPARARA, 08 OCT (NAMPA) - The Kaparara Senior Primary School situated in the Kavango West Region could close down due to a shortage of water, making teaching and learning difficult at the school since last year.
The school was established in the early 1970s, and is situated some 110 kilometres (km) south-west of Rundu.
The school does not have its own water pump, and the only community pump which the school shares with the villagers broke down early last year.
Since the community water pump stopped functioning, teachers and over 200 learners at the school have been surviving on water collected in two 200 litres drums from another village some 10km away.
The lack of water has also negatively affected livestock, as they now enter the same village in search of water every day.
The teachers make financial contributions to cover the fuel costs to fetch water every day for the learners, but they are now fed up because it is draining them financially.
Over 70 learners at the school are said to have dropped out of school due to the water shortages, while others report to school as late as 09h00.
The teachers told this reporter upon a visit to the school on Monday that the two drums of water are not enough to cater for all the learners and teachers at the school including some community members, who often come to the school pleading for water.
The school’s principal, Joseph Sindimba, told this reporter on Monday that the water shortages at the school has negatively affected the learners, as they are not attending school in high numbers anymore.
Teachers are now apparently teaching only 10 learners per day in a class which normally has over 40 learners.
Some learners at the school are also discouraged by the long distances of about 20km to and from school every day, arriving at school tired, and subsequently do not concentrate but doze off in class.
The school’s principal said teachers are forced to report to work with dirty clothes, because the little water they have is not enough to cater for their laundry.
Sindimba said their problem has been reported to the regional education office to provide them with their own boreholes or at least for a water tank to be erected at their school, but that seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
The school has now written a letter to the regional education office including the education Circuit Inspector, informing them of their persistent problems and their intention to close the school by next Friday.
“The staff at the school suggested closing down the school by next Friday if nothing is done to bring water to the school, because we really can’t continue without water,” said the school’s principal, who stressed that the teachers have really made a lot of sacrifices.
The learners at the school have also not received their maize meal under the school feeding programme since the school’s third term commenced in early September, and this, according to the principal, is also contributing to the high absenteeism at the school.
The staff accused their Nzinze Circuit Education Inspector, Kletus Karondo of neglecting the inland schools, as he has allegedly not visited them for almost a year now.
Efforts to obtain comment from Karondo proved futile as his mobile phone remained off since yesterday, while the landline phone for Kavago Regional Education Deputy Director Fanuel Kapapero repeatedly went unanswered.
The Kaparara Senior Primary School which runs from Grade One to Seven, is a satellite school to about eight schools from nearby villages.