Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND – The struggles to access information technology that learners and teachers of Festus Gonteb Primary School has endured for years is now something of the past, as the school became recipients of 18 computers from Basil Read Mining Namibia.
The school in Mondesa, Swakopmund, had only one computer for years for research purposes and lesson planning for both teachers and learners, despite having a library there. Basil Read Mining earlier this month reached out to New Era to identify a school which they could assist with the computers.
This publication chose Festus Gonteb Primary School, as 1 120 learners were using that one computer. “It was a disaster”, said Liina Kaukemwa, a grade six learner whose only access to the online world was through the only computer she shared with everyone at school.
She added that although they had access to the town’s public library, they sometimes had to wait for days before it was their turn to use the computers. “It was hard, especially for us who do not have electronics at home. Some of us also stay as far as DRC,” she explained.
Hitjivirue Matundu, also a grade six learner, said they sometimes had to lie that they are from another school if they wanted to use the computers at the public library for school projects. She observed that it was always a struggle at school, as they all required access to the computer. “It was very difficult, but I am happy that we got more computers now. We can all share them, and it won’t take so much time to do our research,” a happy Matundu smiled.
School principal Filemon Abraham could not hide his joy, saying the donation opens up so many possibilities for the school. “Our learners can now also experience their information communication subject practically. Learners could previously only be taught the theoretical aspect of the subject, as only 40% of had access to an electronic gadget at home.
Abraham said the library is now fully-equipped, and is also being used by grade one learners, where teachers would book a day with the project coordinator and watch different topics online which they had taught in class.
“Our kids are eager to learn, and these computers mean a lot to us. It will give our children the necessary skills, and we will be on par with all the learners of other schools when it comes to information and communication technology. We thank Basil Read for their kind gesture and the New Era newspaper for facilitating the donation,” he added.
Speaking during the handover, Christwynne Bedja from Basil Read Mining Namibia said they are honoured and proud to be part of such a significant sponsorship as education plays an important role in shaping children’s futures.
“Our donation of 18 complete computer desktops is an indication of our commitment towards education and community development in Namibia. Hence, we trust and believe that the Festus Gonteb Primary School will cherish and appreciate this assistance, which both learners and teachers require for computer skills development,” Bedja stated.
Basil Read Mining Namibia as one of the country’s leading mining contractor companies pride themselves in their community involvement and contribution towards future Namibian mining engineers and managers, the sponsor said. “We also thank New Era for your support and being instrumental in making this a reality, not only for the kids/learners of Festus Gonteb, but for the entire Namibian educational sector,” he continued.