Limbo over abandoned school at Neu Sommerau

11 Jul 2018 13:30pm
KOMBAT, 11 JUL (NAMPA) - An abandoned newly constructed school at the Neu Sommerau government resettlement farm near Kombat, has stirred up blame games between the Ministry of Land Reform and the Otjozondjupa Directorate of Education Office at Otjiwarongo.
The four classroom block, with two bedrooms that serve as teachers’ quarters and ablution facilities, was constructed by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) in the Otjozondjupa Region in 2015 at a cost over N.dollars 2 million.
Since completion in 2016, the school has not been operational.
The Otjozondjupa Regional Education Chief Development Planner, Veziruapi Tjombonde told Nampa on Monday of her displeasure to see government’s scarce resources being wasted in such a manner due to a lack of coordination between her office and that of the land reform ministry.
Farm Neu Sommerau belongs to the land reform ministry, which carried out land surveying, mapping and the demarcation of farm units in 2013 for different purposes.
She explained that the school will not open its doors until the connection of electricity, potable water and sewage networks are done.
The land reform ministry, she said, has failed her office since it promised to channel services to the resettlement farm, where the directorate of education would then easily tap from and connect the school.
“It was even them (land reform ministry) who showed us where to set up the school which is aimed at educating children on the farm from pre-primary to Grade 3,” Tjombonde claimed.
On his part, the Deputy Director in the Ministry of Land Reform at Otjiwarongo, Gotlieb Elifas explained that the new school building does not belong to his ministry, adding that the ministry which constructed the school should channel electricity, water and sewage pipelines to the school.
He then urged the MoEAC to drill a borehole for water as an alternative measure.
Upon enquiry on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the MoEAC Sanet Steenkamp referred the matter back to Tjombonde, or the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, where all affairs of the directorate of education in the region are handled.
The farm has over 2 000 residents and most of the children attend primary school at Kombat, which is situated approximately 10 kilometres away from the core activities of the farm.