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Ashipala school in dire state

2023-08-23  Max Heinrich

Ashipala school in dire state

ONGWEDIVA - The hostel at Ashipala Senior Secondary School in Elim constituency of Omusati region is in a dilapidated state that the school has turned classrooms into dormitories for pupils.

In addition, the school does not have enough mattresses for the children, insufficient shower rooms and toilets, and not enough good chairs for the pupils.

In 2021 the school reportedly requested for 370 mattresses from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture but only received 30 mattresses.

These mattresses have been torn due to overuse and most pupils sleep on the metal bed frames with no mattress on them.

Principal Walderich Iipinge said the school is in dire need of a proper hostel and mattresses.

“It is disappointing that people expect quality education from such a school. Where will all that come from? Our hostel is in a really bad condition and we have 16 classrooms that have never been used as classrooms, but as dormitories,” said Iipinge.

The hostel superintendent, Immanuel Kanyeumbo, said when they failed to get the requested number of mattresses, Negumbo Senior Secondary School came to their rescue and donated 120 second-hand mattresses to Ashipala.

“We have 673 pupils at the school and 545 of them are boarders with 54 boys and 78 girls staying in a corrugated zinc hostel. The hostel windows do not have window panes; and the pupils placed cardboard to stop the wind blowing in. Additionally, 177 boys and 236 girls are accommodated in the 16 classrooms that were turned into hostels,” said Kanyeumbo.

“When we turned the 16 classrooms into hostels, we built two toilets and two showers for each hostel to prevent pipils going out at night to use the only four toilets at the school. Those four toilets are used by the all the learners during classes,” said Kanyeumbo.

He highlighted that the hostel is congested that pupils sleep so close to one another that if one catches a cold or flu or chickenpox, the whole room will be infected.

To make matters worse, boys accommodated in the corrugated zinc hostel use two mobile toilets and bath from buckets and basins in a makeshift shower area.

The girls share two toilets and two showers and they are forced to wake up early to bath in the open while it is still dark.

“We also have a shortage of water. Children wake up at 04h30 to bath but by 06h00 some boys will still be bathing. Water from the supply pipeline has low pressure. The toilets do not flush well because of the low water pressure,” said Kanyeumbo.

During a tour of the school, Kanyeumbo highlighted that the toilets which were built when the school was established are in a dilapidated state.

The school also has no proper kitchen and uses one with a single door, making it a safety hazard. Most pupils prefer dining outdoors because the school hall is too small to accommodate all of them in a single sitting.

The classrooms need a new coat of paint as the walls have been scribbled over by learners over time and most chairs are broken and need repair.

Schoolboard member Sam Kandjimwena said due to all these challenges and problems, the pupils are finding it hard to perform well academically.

“When we got the statistics of the school’s performance, I believe only two or three pupils had passed. We decided to investigate and realised that most of the teachers at the school have no teaching plans and some do not cooperate with their heads of department,” said Kandijimwena.

Kandjimwena said only one teacher at the school had a lesson plan and pupils under her were performing better than others.

2023-08-23  Max Heinrich

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