REHOBOTH, 10 APR – The principal of Piet Diergaardt Primary School at Farm Tsumis Park in the Hardap Region said social evils and illegal occupation on the farm are not isolated issues, but rather national problems.
Jackie #Khariseb said this in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, in which he responded to allegations made by the owners of Tsumis Park (Farm Petrusdal) that the school and residents “attract a vicious cycle of social moral decay, including rampant teenage and out of wedlock pregnancies, alcohol and crime”.
The owners, through their lawyers Shikongo Law Chambers, have asked the ministry to clarify whether there was any agreement for the residents to stay on the farm.
They claim that numerous families and individuals, with and without children attending the school and with and without connection to the school, have settled on the land without their permission.
#Khariseb’s letter availed to Nampa states that the decay of moral fibre cannot in any way be “allied with the existence of the school, as this is a global problem”.
He further said graves of people born as early as 1858 and buried in 1967 at the cemetery on that farm, were recorded before the current owners attained ownership of the land in 1979.
Education Circuit Inspector of #Oan-||Ob, George Dax supported this claim, saying that except for a few families who came to this settlement from nearby farms, the majority of the inhabitants are people born and bred there, and along with them the land owners also benefited from the services brought by government.
Dax made this statement in his submission on the contentious issue to the Permanent Secretary.
He cited oral history given by former education inspector Frans Cloete that the Khoikhoi and Baster communities were settled on the farm and in their quest to provide education to their children, residents asked for assistance from the then Rhenish Mission to start a school during the 1960s, after which the church built a few buildings for classrooms and accommodation for teachers.
Dax said there was no formal or written agreement with the owners of the land in this regard.
He said government brought basic services to the area after Independence in 1990.