WALVIS BAY - Several parents at Walvis Bay who wanted to enrol their children for Grade 1 yesterday had to be shown the door as all government schools are filled to the rafters – while 780 first graders are already on the waiting list for placement.
Parents are now pinning their hopes on the new school, Namport Primary School, which is currently being constructed close to the SADC gateway port. However, the school can only accommodate about 540 learners and is expected to only open in February for classes.
Director for the education circuit at Walvis Bay Monica Gawises yesterday confirmed to New Era that the demand for Grade 1 placement increases every year.
“Many parents turned up today at the circuit office to enrol their kids for the first time, but unfortunately we could not accommodate them as there is simply no space at our schools anymore,” she explained yesterday.
According to her, the construction of the new school does not ease the pressure on overcrowded classrooms as some classes will have more than 38 learners.
New Era also spoke to some frustrated parents outside the Walvis Bay education circuit office, where they flocked hoping to secure a spot for their children in school, with the school year scheduled to start today.
These parents are of the opinion that the government should build more classrooms in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, especially for lower primary to ease pressure on already existing schools.
Johanna Garoes who tried to enrol her daughter yesterday told New Era that she only moved to the coast in September, hence could not enrol her daughter in June already.
“That’s how I ended up here. It is very worrisome to know that this problem with Grade 1 has been coming on for so long but nothing has been done by government to address it,” she said.
Matheus Uushona who also moved to the coast last year also wanted to enrol his daughter for Grade 1 but could not find a place for her in government schools.
“I thought my daughter would have better education here. That is why I brought her along with me, but it seems I have to send her back to the north as the schools are already too full here,” he explained.