Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-The education directorate in Omusati Region has recalled learners from nine of its schools after they were released earlier this week because of a shortage of food at the hostels. Acting director in Omusati Region Shali Kankondi said the catering company started distributing food from Wednesday and is expected to complete the distribution today [Friday]. Kankondi said the schools have already been notified, adding that schools were instructed only to recall learners once the food has arrived. “The catering company is busy delivering food to boarding schools in the region, but we instructed the schools to only recall learners once the food is at the school. We do not want to foresee a situation where learners come to school and there is still no food,” said Kankondi. Currently the catering company is only delivering some food items excluding meat, as the catering company responsible for meat supply has refused to deliver until the outstanding money is paid into its account, New Era was reliably informed. The affected schools were forced to release learners who are not writing examinations, leaving only the grade 10s and 12s who are writing examinations. The Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture had owed the catering company supplying Omusati, Oshana and Omaheke regions N$30 million. New Era was also informed that the region had to use political influence for the bill to be settled, as it was a struggle to secure the money through general administration. Although the learners had left the school, the permanent secretary in the education ministry Sanet Steenkamp had maintained that learners should not be sent home. She said on Tuesday that those who were released should immediately be recalled. “This is a critical time for our learners, it is examination time. And even if it was not, it is our mandate to make sure that our learners receive food and that is what we have been working on,” said Steenkamp. Meanwhile, Kankondi has expressed gratitude for the ministry’s prompt response. “At least we can now continue teaching and learning – and those who are writing examinations can now write without any interruptions,” said Kankondi.
2017-10-20 09:14:15 11 months ago