Dignity and a sound learning environment have been restored at the King Kauluma Combined School in Oshikoto as a new block of classrooms have been inaugurated.
The classroom block of four, including a storeroom, was constructed at a cost of N$969 000 through funding from the Japanese Embassy in Namibia.
The permanent structures have replaced a block of corrugated iron-sheet classes to which Grades 6 and 7 learners were subjected to in harsh weather conditions.
“Due to a shortage of classrooms, our learners were subjected to harsh conditions as they were in shacks and mud classes without doors. As a result, they were exposed to wind and dust, thus making teaching and learning unconducive,” said school principal Edward Akawa, as he expressed his appreciation for the generous gesture by the Japanese Embassy.
King Kauluma was established in 1992, and has 750 learners and a staff complement of 27.
The ambassador of Japan to Namibia, Hideaki Harada, said the Government of Japan has implemented 59 projects towards the education sector since 1997, with an estimated value of N$62 million.
“Education has been a priority for the government of Japan. Therefore, we aim to achieve a direct and immediate impact on the well-being of disadvantaged communities at grassroots levels,” he said.
Harada informed learners about the many educational opportunities in Japan, while emphasising that country’s stance on providing assistance so that learners can excel and be people of substance in future.
Education director Aletta Eises said “I am assuring you that this investment won’t be in vain because Oshikoto is a best-performing region, whereby last year we performed well in taking the fourth place nationally, despite Covid-19’s effects. So, if we were able to beat Covid-19 last year, what will stop us this time? So, we highly appreciate these investments as they encourage us to do more.”
Deputy education minister Faustina Caley informed teachers that learners are their responsibility, hence they should articulate themselves properly so that they can mould the learners.
She said “2020 was a difficult year. We lost many of our relatives and colleagues, thus let’s stay strong and remain resilient. The ministry is aware of the challenges, and we are working on addressing such. However, your efforts are all acknowledged. With regards to infrastructure, it’s common that when the school population increases, it requires expansions, and this doesn’t come easy.”
Meanwhile, Oshikoto governor Penda Ya Ndakolo said the school still has the challenge of a fence, and thus appealed for assistance from the business community to come on board.
In the same vein, he implored learners to take their education seriously because these investments are meant to shape their future.
Meanwhile, various stakeholders made a pledge of N$21 300 as well as a goat towards the realisation of the erection of a fence.