It was not easy being a village girl then you find yourself in a big town where you barely know anyone, seized with only one option – to fend and explore the harsh realities of this world, says Lavinia Hautoni (19), a first-year Pre-Engineering student at Unam.
“My first days were marred by getting lost and missing lectures; I didn’t know anyone, neither was I familiar with the campus, though I was oriented in the beginning but everything seemed upside down. Nevertheless, I am better off now, though it was a tough experience. I am just looking forward to nailing it this year, despite the Covid-19 challenges,” said Hautoni in a soft, shy tone as she narrated to New Era about her journey.
Hautoni’s remarkable journey was made possible by New Era when we, in February, reported about Hautoni’s predicament as she languished home with praiseworthy 38 points in Grade 12 but had no moral and financial support to enrol for tertiary education.
Though it was a day before higher learning institutions were due to close for registration, it only took about 30 minutes for Good Samaritans, led by Hilya Kambonde, to pool resources together, after New Era posted her video as she appealed for assistance.
Reflecting on her academic performance under the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw contact lessons being suspended, Hautoni, who was born and bred in a rural village of Ohaiyanda, Oshikoto region, says she is coping with the e-learning system implemented by Unam.
Even though she can navigate her way through the e-learning huddles, considering that it is her first time being exposed to such learning system, she is seized with the lack of airtime to buy mobile data bundles.
“Being in the village is hard and our network is very poor. I am waiting for the situation to normalise so that I can return to school. Without data, I happen to receive assignments and notes late; thus, it also affects the quality of my work, as I rush against deadlines and sometimes submit late,” she stressed while seated on the ground and surrounded by family.
All in all, she feels her performance under e-learning will not be pleasing compared to if she would be attending lectures. “I understand some things and at the same time seek for help from my peers where I am slacking,” she added.
Meanwhile, she also shared her appreciation to all those who support her financially and in-kind during her struggles, and she wishes them strength and good health.