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From tents to modern classrooms

2024-01-18  John Muyamba

From tents to modern classrooms

RUNDU - A makeshift school started in the Tumweneni informal settlement at Rundu in 2019 with 230 learners being taught under trees and in tents, on Monday welcomed back learners to a modern structure boasting 12 classrooms.

The Siguruguru Primary School situated on the southeastern outskirts of Rundu also now has four storerooms and an administration block as well as offices for the principal, three heads of departments, a male and female toilet, and a strongroom.

The school now offers classes from pre-primary school to grade 7.

Construction started last year after the allocation of funds by the directorate of education. 

“They handed over the completed buildings towards the end of last year. The majority of our learners are now being taught in these new classrooms, while others will still be taught in tents as our population has over the recent years increased to over 900,” school principal Annely Masambo told New Era on the latest developments at the school. 

“When we closed at the end of last year, and when we did our schedules and class lists for all classes, our learners were 911 in total. Now, there are more coming and seeking space, but our classes are already full. We are grateful to our government that we now have permanent structures, apart from the classrooms. Our administrative set-up is sufficient for now, unlike how we used to work under a tree,’’ she noted. 

However, the school is still in need of electricity as there is no power, while learners’ toilets are also absent.

“Regarding electricity, the town council is yet to give consent to Nored that the land was officially given and designated for our school. Only then can they connect us,” she continued.

The absence of electricity brings along challenges. 

“The challenge we are facing is that we always have to go to the regional office after school with our printing and copy machine to go and print or make copies of our class activities and everything else. It is a daily thing. Sometimes a teacher can prepare a test without noticing that there’s an error, but after printing and coming back to school, the error is noticed. That test thus needs to be cancelled until next time,” Masambo lamented.

The school is still not fenced in, and domesticated animals move freely while people also just enter the school from anywhere at any time. Those with cars likewise just drive through as a shortcut. 

The school has 21 teachers, inclusive of the principal and one head of department. It still needs two more heads of department to have a complete structure. There is also no administrative officer or a cleaner. 

The school received a donation of a fully-installed borehole from Recon Namibia last year, which gives teachers and learners access to potable water.

There were other elated voices.

A member of the Siguruguru school board, Alexander Muyambango said they are rejoicing.

“Seeing how this school was started, and looking at where it is today, it is really commendable what our government did. Our children used to walk long distances to school, but now the school is on our doorsteps. My only advice goes to the teachers and learners that they should make government proud by executing good results. They should really pull their weight,’’ he said.

Muyambango urged parents to encourage their children to work hard and be on their best behaviour.

“God is God; government has heard our prayers. When we settled here, school was a headache as our children used to attend school far away and it was a struggle. But when this school started, it was a relief, and now we are happy as a community,” said Julia Sapararo from the Tumweneni informal settlement, who has two children at the school.


Caption: (Siguruguru) 

2024-01-18  John Muyamba

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