06 Mar 2019 09:20am
KAKEKETE, 06 MAR (NAMPA) The community hostel at Cocoma Junior Primary School situated 160 kilometres west of Rundu received 34 beds from various businesses here on Monday.
The school has three teachers and 147 learners from Grades 1 to 4, with 84 learners accommodated in three makeshift structures of the hostel.
Speaking during the official handing over of the beds at the school, principal Moses Ndumba said Cocoma is a government school with two classrooms shared by four grades.
Due to a high number of vulnerable children from surrounding farms and villages, mostly from the San community, the hostel was established to ensure that the learners attend school and do not drop out.
The school is situated inland and surrounded by conservancies, thus wild animals such as lions and elephants frequent surrounding villages, he explained.
The community hostel was also established because some of our learners walk long distances of up to 10 kilometres just to get to school. Other learners run back home when they meet wild animals on the way, the principal said.
The hostel opened in 2017 with 22 learners and that figure has since grown to 84.
Ndumba said the donation of the beds by the businesses is the first donation to the school, before expressing his gratitude.
He said the 84 learners in the hostel sleep on very thin old mattresses that they share.
Businessman Robby Amadhila of Roama Gates Manufacturing who donated some of the beds said it is important that education is given the support it needs.
Amadhila said what brought him to Cocoma is a video on the school that went viral on social media two weeks ago, depicting the challenges faced by the vulnerable children such as sleeping on old mattresses shared by five in small makeshift structures.
He said the beds were not just donated by him but by other business people such as Sidney Martin, Saara Katiti and another businesswoman in Sweden as well.
Grade 1 teacher at the school, Muhembo Shindona said she came to the school in 2016 before the community hostel was established.
Shindona informed this agency that she doubles as a cook, a situation that is not beneficial as it affects her lesson planning sessions.
I have to wake up as early as 04h00 every morning to prepare meals for the children after which I have to wake them up to bath and make sure they clean the dishes before school starts, she said.
Meanwhile, Amadhila promised that he was going to return soon to further assist the school to build a pre-fabricated hostel.