KEETMANSHOOP - The hearts of a group of toddlers were filled with joy last week when the Keetmanshoop Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church inaugurated three additional pre-primary classrooms.
In remarks delivered on his behalf, //Kharas education director /Awebahe //Hoeseb said the church played a significant role in the quest for ensuring equitable access to quality education for learners in the country, both before and after the attainment of Namibia’s independence. “It (church) took the brave decision to ensure that the indigenous people would also become functionally literate and numerate,” he noted. //Hoeseb said this was done during the pre˗independence era when colonial masters neglected to honour that part of their obligation towards the majority population.
He added that this humanitarian gesture would now ease the burden of the St Matthias Primary School’s management to perform an instructional leadership and managerial as well as administrative oversight function over staff members previously operating from separate localities. “It will also create room for staff cohesion since all teachers will now be working on the same premises,” he added.
The major challenge the school’s management might face is that of having bigger learner numbers on the premises, now that both primary and pre˗primary learners will be hosted under one roof.
Speaking at the same event, education deputy director Jasmine Magerman stated that the Covid˗19 pandemic has now clearly shown that an educated nation can take control of devastating situations. She further informed those present that primary education is the foundation of any person’s educational journey, and also the first milestone in the life of a learner.
“If this foundation is laid properly, a child would not fail in any field, provided hard work is done in later years,” she added. Magerman reasoned that it is exactly during the primary years of education that a child learns to interact with peers and follow instructions. “It gives independence to children, and enables them to develop a decision-making personality”, she said.
The deputy director then expressed her profound gratitude towards the Roman Catholic Church for creating an environment for the children, where teachers can support them to develop socially and emotionally.
During the official handing-over of the classrooms, bishop Willem Christiaan from the church said “it is always important to start the educational journey with the little ones, educating them”. The clergyman explained that phase two of the project, comprising three more classrooms, a boardroom and a storeroom, will commence soon.
Phase one of the project consists of three classrooms with four toilets, providing ablution facilities for both teachers and learners. It has been constructed at a cost of N$1.3 million.