& Obrein Simasiku
ONGWEDIVA – Some schools in the northern parts of the country have been temporarily closed due to heavy floods following torrential rains. Although no official statistics were yet released, education directors and some councillors in Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati have confirmed the closure of schools in their areas.
At some schools, classrooms and staff offices are said to have been flooded, while some schools have been cut off by water, leaving pupils and teachers with no access.
In Ohangwena region, the councilor of Endola constituency Ferdinand Shifidi pointed out that combined schools such as Evatelo, Endola, Onepandaulo, Ehafo, as well as Shituwa Senior Secondary School, and Onangubu Primary School were among affected schools. Oshawapala and Omahenge combined schools were also on the verge of temporary closure yesterday.
“This floodwater surrounds the schools – teachers and learners have to wade through overflowing streams to get to school.
“The learners can’t even relocate to school grounds because they have nowhere to set up tents. The areas where they are supposed to erect their tents are also flooded, so learners have no place to stay, closure is the only solution,” said Shifidi.
Learning at Oshitambi Primary School was also indefinitely suspended, with 351 pupils sent home, according to principal Sheya Shimanya. “Our learners were sent home until further notice when the situation normalises, or when we observe that the water levels have subsided as well as dried up in the classrooms,” he said.
“We will observe until Friday then resume next Monday, but I am afraid if it continues to rain the suspension will be indefinite unless other measures are roped in.”
In Omusati region, Okalongo constituency is among other constituencies that are facing a similar fate. Councillor Laurentius Ipinge said that so far six schools in the constituency were closed. The schools are Elao, Uushwa, Onembamba, John Shekudya, Ekundu, and Onkambadhala combined schools.
“Most of the affected schools have access roads, but such roads are destroyed as many of them had no culverts or bridges to allow water flow,” said Ipinge.
Both Isak Hamatwi and Gerhard Ndafenongo for the Oshana and Ohangwena education directorates, respectively, have also confirmed that a number of schools have been closed but they were both unable to give statistics as they were waiting for inspectors of education to confirm the numbers at the time of going to press yesterday.
2020-03-03 07:10:35 | 4 months ago