• April 22nd, 2019
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Garden elevates Tsintsabis school


Josephina Mwashindange Windhoek-A garden established at Tsintsabis Combined School is assisting in mitigating hunger and meeting the government halfway in the school feeding programme. The school has 800 leaners. Although the school had a poor pass rate in past years that did not discourage learners as well as the school management to plan other activities to benefit the school. The marginalized community is perceived as lazy citizens and that they are mostly dependant on government grants and other special services through the Office of the Prime Minister. Tsintsabis is a settlement of about 4,000 inhabitants in the Oshikoto Region and is situated 65 kilometres northeast of Tsumeb. Although Tsintsabis is not a proclaimed settlement, it is situated on farmland, some of which has been obtained by the government to resettle landless people. The area is inhabited predominantly by the San – but also Damara, Owambo and people from Kavango. The school has proven the majority wrong by initiating a school garden project on its premises with the assistance of funds from the Oshikoto Regional Council. The schoolyard is diversified and beautified with rows of cabbage, spinach and spring onions. Erick Kheimseb is the school principal who loves how his school’s garden has given the children extra responsibility and an opportunity to explore outside. “The learners love to work with their hands and play in the soil and explore these new things. It has opened up their eyes and made them more curious of what is around them. This also teaches them to be responsible and we hope it will teach them to grow small businesses one day,” said Kheimseb. Kheimseb said the garden will not only provide food security but also help the school in buying stationery for the marginalized learners. Kheimseb indicated the Universal Primary Education Grant (UPE) that they receive from the Ministry of Education, cannot cater for all school needs. He encouraged schools that might find themselves in the same situation and have vast unutilized land, to follow suit. Echoing similar sentiments, Kaino Haufiku, the school head girl, commended school management for the initiative because it now enables them to experiment with the theories they learn in class. Apart from working on surrounding farms, there are no other job opportunities. Hence many of the residents live on government handouts. Meanwhile, some community members spoken to said they appreciate the school initiative and even though they work on a voluntary basis, they welcomed the garden with open hands. The project kicked off in August and the school is expecting the first harvest late November this year. • Josephina Mwashindange is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Oshikoto Region
New Era Reporter
2017-10-27 09:37:41 1 years ago

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