18 Oct 2013 10:30am
OPUWO, 18 OCT (NAMPA) The Directorate of Education in the Kunene Region is planning to open two new primary schools here next year to spread the high numbers of learners at the only lower primary government school in town.
The Opuwo Lower Primary School is the only lower primary school in Opuwo, with 819 learners being accommodated from pre-primary to Grade Four.
The Deputy Director of Education in the Kunene Region, Bernadette Jagger told Nampa on Friday that the management committee in the region had discussed the plans in their last meeting this month.
She said the plan to build a new primary school is long overdue, and the current numbers of learners who are being registered at the single lower primary school in town warrants the construction of such a new school.
Both new schools would be in the radius of three kilometres from the current lower primary school.
The two schools are planned to be opened at the Otuzemba township, and the other one at the Okondaunwe village, respectively, noted Jagger.
She added that the idea to construct a new school at the Otuzemba township was proposed more than five years ago when Kabajani Kamwi was still the Director of Education in the Kunene Region.
The idea of the Okondaunwe school came up as a possible solution for the children from the disadvantaged community of Ovazimba, who are currently not attending school, but getting food from the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS)s soup kitchen every day while they are of a school-going age to be, explained Jagger.
She noted that it was very late for the directorate to put up a class at the Red Cross offices, or at Okondaunwe for these children, and that prompted the idea for another school next year.
The NRCS has registered 123 vulnerable Ovazimba children who are of school- going age, but who are not attending school this year.
Meanwhile, the acting principal of the only lower primary school in Opuwo, Sipora Ankama, this year already called on the government to construct a new school in the Otuzemba area after some of her classrooms had to accommodate 41 learners due to shortages of space.
Some classes even had to be taught in the afternoon, while many parents had to be turned away as there was no space for learners in the lower grades any longer.
The inspector of the Opuwo Circuit, Chris Tjivikua told Nampa that the plans were indeed tabled at the Education Directors office, but he was not sure whether they were approved as he did not receive confirmation about any construction yet.
The idea was two-fold. One is to take away the heavy load of excessive numbers which are overcrowding the lower primary school system currently, and the other one is to protect the lives of the learners from motor-vehicle accidents by reducing their travelling distances from their homes to school, he stated.
Tjivikua added that even if resources are not enough to construct the planned schools, the idea is to put up satellite schools which would operate in tents, starting from pre-primary and Grade One.
When money is availed by the Ministry of Education, schools could then be constructed.