Businesses must come on board to construct schools: Stephanus

The Education Director in the Erongo Region, Erenfriede Stephanus has called on the private sector to come on board and assist the directorate in renovating old school buildings and constructing new schools.

Stephanus during the town hall meeting in Swakopmund on Monday stressed that government alone is not able to do so as funds are insufficient.

“We have a serious challenge with the hostels and as a result, some of these hostels, including a block at Namib High School, had to be closed off. We tried to renovate some of the dilapidated hostels, with some having pipes that are rusted and need to be replaced. The rooms are in a terrible state and so much really needs to be done, but the government cannot do it alone,” she said.

The situation has led to some learners being accommodated at hostels at other schools, while others had to find accommodation in surrounding areas.

“This issue has been forwarded to the minister’s office and a meeting will be held later this month to discuss the way forward in easing the matter,” she added.

Parents have also been advised to take their children to schools with hostels outside town as schools in Swakopmund are overcrowded but those in smaller towns and rural areas are underutilised.

Stephanus expressed disappointment in the fact that these schools mainly enrol learners from other regions, in the process neglecting the local vernaculars spoken in those areas such as Khoekhoegowab or Otjiherero and now have to be forced to find or train teachers in other languages such as Oshindonga and Rukwangali to cater for learners coming from the north.

“We recently renovated the hostel at the Dibasen Secondary School in Okombahe which burned down some years ago, same as Petrus Ganeb in Uis, however due to insufficient funds, we could not renovate all the blocks,” she said.

Two schools, a primary and secondary school, are currently under construction in Swakopmund and are expected to ease the shortage of schools at the town.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency