NKURENKURU, 10 MAY – No new schools have been constructed in the Kavango West Region since its establishment in 2013, Governor Sirkka Ausiku said during her State of the Region Address here Tuesday.
The number of secondary, combined and primary schools in the region remain at 176.
The Kavango Region was split into Kavango East and Kavango West in 2013, following a recommendation by the Fourth Delimitation Commission of Namibia.
The schools’ staff complement stands at 1 773, with 22 vacancies, while 16 per cent of the filled positions are occupied by unqualified teachers.
Ausiku said it is still a concern that many learners in the region are being taught under trees, “not to mention the shortage of learning materials like textbooks, equipment and furniture, lack of hostels and teachers accommodation”.
Ausiku said the region is still looking forward to the speedy implementation of the Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Programme, a new fully-fledged secondary school with a hostel in Nkurenkuru as well as a hostel at the Katjinakatji Secondary School.
Namibia’s N.dollars 1.3 billion Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Programme is expected to commence in the second quarter of the year, President Hage Geingob said during his fourth State of the Nation Address in the capital last month.
The governor further stated that she is concerned about the looming closure of smaller schools in the region, which the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture term “uneconomical schools”.
One of the schools, Rukura Junior Primary, was closed during the period under review and others may follow, with Ausiku requesting the ministry to handle the matter with care and carry out proper consultations with all stakeholders.
“No school should be closed until proper intervention strategies have been put in place. No child deserves to be affected negatively at his/her formation stage,” stressed Ausiku.
Approached for comment, Kavango West Education Director, Theopolina Hamutumua told Nampa Wednesday that for the ministry to construct a new school, a need should come from the community.
“If they have more than 40 learners and no nearby school where learners can be accommodated, they can apply for a new school to be constructed,” she explained.
On the issue of the looming closure of 34 schools, Hamutumwa said no schools will be closed until they find schools for these learners.