San learners doing well in school despite poverty: Semba

18 Jul 2018 07:20am
GOBABIS, 18 JUL (NAMPA) – San learners have managed to do well in school despite the economic hardships they often face, Omaheke Regional Education Director Peka Semba has said.
He told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday despite being unable to afford basic necessities, especially those residing in hostels, such learners have continue to put up an above average performance in their school work.
Semba said extreme poverty at home has meant that San parents are often unable to provide basic necessities for their children residing in school hostels.
The director noted that it is not uncommon to find such learners struggling with soap, sanitary pads and other necessities.
“There are children in hostels who have absolutely nothing on them in terms of basic necessities, and San learners are worse off,” Semba said.
Although government has exempted San learners from paying hostel fees and also provides transport between the hostels and home, such learners still face poverty, he said.
There are about 4 200 San learners in schools in the Omaheke Region, which constitutes 18.3 percent of the total learner population of 23 200, according to the regional education directorate.
Semba noted that various assessments have shown that many San learners possess above average learning ability.
The region has over the last five years or so managed to send nine San learners to Rukonga Vision School in the Kavango East Region for their exceptional performance in their respective grades.
One such learner, Maureen Veldskoen proceeded to Grade 12 and attained 30 points in the final examinations in 2017, allowing her to register at a higher learning institution where she is currently studying, Semba said.
He said government continues to do its best to level the playing field for everyone, so as to allow for high performances in school without outside hindrance or influence.
The Rukonga Vision School, the first of its kind in Namibia, was officially opened in 2013.
It is situated about 200 kilometres east of Rundu and was set up by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for gifted learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those in rural areas who have shown great potential to develop and succeed in life.
The Omaheke Region has a high concentration of San people, with many of them residing in the Aminuis, Kalahari and Okorukambe constituencies.
Small towns and villages such as Witvlei, Otjinene, Du Plessis Plaas, Drimiopsis, Farm Skoonheid and Omitara have a high number of San inhabitants.