WALVIS BAY - At least 600 learners that were on the waiting list for Grade 1 at Walvis Bay are unlikely to be accommodated, as no extra classrooms were built to accommodate them.
This is despite learners being placed at various schools already. The extra classrooms were supposed to be constructed last year already to be ready for today’s school reopening.
Schools such as Narraville, Immanuel Ruiters and Flamingo primary schools yesterday referred parents to the Walvis Bay education circuit office, as they simply did not have space for pre-primary to Grade 2 learners.
The Walvis Bay education inspector, Monica Gawises, last year during consultations with parents estimated that government schools would not be able to accommodate 600 to 700 first graders, as well as 435 Grade 8 learners due to space constraints.
Gawises last year already explained that Walvis Bay only has space for 1 510 Grade 1 learners, of which 392 spaces were already reserved for pre-primary learners at government schools.
There are currently nine government primary schools and three government-funded private schools that can accommodate 1 908 Grade 1 pupils.
Narraville Primary School principal Cecilia Nakashole yesterday told New Era that her school currently has 224 learners enrolled to be accommodated in six classrooms.
“We simply do not have classrooms to take in more learners,” she said.
Her sentiments were echoed by almost all primary schools in Walvis Bay.
Concerned parents yesterday told New Era they were informed about available spaces at schools last year.
However, this week, they were told there are no classrooms to accommodate all the learners. An irate parent Elsabe Geingos said she was left with no option but to consult family members in other towns to consider taking in her daughter to enable her to start school at least next week.
Hileni Shilongo, who was also looking for space for her daughter yesterday at the education office in Walvis Bay, said she was only transferred to the coast last year November. “My situation is a bit complicated, as I did not know if I would be transferred to Walvis Bay. That is why I am only looking for a school this week for my daughter. If I had known earlier, I would have done the process last year during the enrolment period already,” she said.
The Erongo education director, Erenfriede Stephanus, was unreachable when contacted for comment yesterday.