SATOTWA – Work will officially kick off on the upgrading of four rural schools that have been aided by the Chinese government.
The education minister along with Chinese embassy officials on Monday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of hostel, classroom and teachers’ accommodation facilities at Satotwa Primary School in Mankumpi constituency of Kavango West.
Yesterday, another groundbreaking was held at Simanya Combined School in Mpungu constituency. In Zambezi region, a groundbreaking for Masokotwani Combined School will be held tomorrow and for Liselo Combined School on
The expansion of the schools is being aided by the Chinese authorities who are also funding additional facilities such as dining hall, computer lab, library, ablution and recreational sports facilities, among others.
“The government of Namibia is faced with many challenges that we need to address. One of them is the shortage of school infrastructure,’’ said education minister Anna Nghipondoka at Satotwa village on Monday.
The minister indicated Namibia and China share a long-standing tradition of friendship that dates back to the 1960s.
“China became the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Namibia and this was done on 22 March 1990, just a day after Namibia declared its national independence.
Since then, our countries have maintained healthy bilateral relations and achieved commendable results in various areas of cooperation,’’ she said.
“China has helped us in addressing our priorities as outlined in the National Development Plans. Today’s event marks exactly that.
The People’s Republic of China provided grant aid of RMB150 million, which is around N$343 million, for the construction of the four rural schools - two schools in Kavango West and two schools in Zambezi.”
Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku said the groundbreaking signalled an exciting time for the region.
“The fact that we are all gathered here to witness this event just shows how important this project is to this community and the region at large,’’ she said.
According to Ausiku, Kavango West is faced with many challenges, ranging from lack of education infrastructure such as hostels and classrooms, lack of school furniture and stationery.
“There is a serious lack of hostel facilities to accommodate our learners and most schools have resorted to setting up temporary structures which are not safe and not conducive to accommodate the learners.
The region has 177 government schools in total and only six have hostels,” she highlighted. She said currently, schools that have hostels are overcrowded and this means that majority of learners are day scholars who walk long distances to and from school on a daily
“Therefore, the construction of these new hostels is a welcomed development and I want to give my profound gratitude and appreciation to the government of the People’s Republic of China for the support.
We are truly grateful from the bottom of our hearts for the noble gesture and I am hoping that more of this kind of support will come to our region,” she said.