NKURENKURU – The National Planning Commission (NPC) director general Oberth Kandjoze recently visited the Kavango West region to assess the progress made in the construction and renovation of ablution and hostel facilities planned with the Covid-19 budget.
The education ministry made available about N$43 million for its Kavango West regional directorate in 2020 and projects were identified to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in the education fraternity. These funds were granted outside the main budget allocated to the education ministry and benefited more than 50 schools.
“Last year’s budget, apart from the main budget to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for Covid-19 purposes, through the government at the centre of the arena, it set apart a billion dollars for about 200 schools without water, hostels and ablution facilities,” Kandjoze said.
“Should there be some that are dilapidated, they should enjoy privileges in the allocation for that money.”
This was an initiative to mitigate the issue of lack of sanitation facilities, lack of water at school premises and overcrowded hostel blocks, which prevented some schools in the region from re-opening during the most critical times of Covid-19 last year, as they were not fit enough as per the provided regulations.
Kandjoze added that despite the efforts that have unfolded by ensuring these projects were completed to meet the needs, there are still some challenges that government face to achieve the intended goal countrywide, as there are about 2 000 schools. “It is about N$10 billion to N$11 billion that we need to fix schools almost to a level where we are happy to say maybe 40 or 50% is done throughout every corner of the country,” he said, adding that there will always be new schools.
During his visit, Kandjoze officially handed over the completed projects for utilisation. The project is at 90% completion, with few aspects to be completed soon.
At the official handover of the Naucova hostel block and ablution facility, Kandjoze also thanked Fiedler Wolfgang’s family for donating to the Naucova school in the past.
During his trip in the region, Kandjoze, together with the regional leadership, also visited the Bravo settlement, with the aim of establishing the way forward for the settlement belonging to the San community by assessing challenges experienced, which will assist in the developmental planning.
Amongst the many challenges noted is the distance school learners having to travel to access education at Bravo Primary School, which needs to be mitigated by building a fully-fledged hostel.
There has been a plan to build a hostel since 2007; however, no construction has commenced yet.
At the occasion, Kandjoze promised to follow up with the process to have a hostel constructed at the school, which has been in government’s plan for over a decade.
The Bravo Primary School principal, Anna Matjayi, said one challenge experienced by the school remains the rate of school dropouts, which continues to increase.
Matjayi said learners can walk a distance of up to 10 kilometres to get to school, which is one reason that fuels the high drop out rate. The principal thus called for a need for a hostel to have the learners at one place to avoid having them walk long distances to school.