Kristof Mpande Mangundu is a veteran public servant, and one of the hardworking teachers in the public school system.
He is the principal of the Shinyungwe Combined School in Kavango East, one of the best-performing schools in the region.
Mangundu described himself as “a very productive servant and an asset of the public service, more especially our ministry”.
He joined the public service as a teacher in 2008 after graduating from the Rundu College of Education, now the University of Namibia Rundu campus.
As a school principal, Mangundu is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day affairs of the school on behalf of the government.
“Being a school principal, you are literally on duty 24/7. One has to make sure the school operations run smoothly.
I believe in an open-door policy, and a day in my life as school principal consists of solving problems as they come my way.
“As one staff member, child or parent leaves the office, the following one was next in line. Planning accordingly, communicating and giving feedback is what kept me busy on a daily basis” he
He added that “being available meant that situations could be dealt with immediately, and small problems did not become giants as they were dealt with as soon as possible.”
He is fully involved at the school management level, with responsibilities related to grade implementation, evaluation of teaching programmes, teaching, supervision, administration and in-service development, inspection and the guidance of teachers at the school.
It is also amongst his duties to ensure that the school is managed “satisfactorily” and in compliance with the applicable legislation, regulations and personnel administration measures as prescribed.
He said his responsibilities as a school principal may vary, depending on the approaches and needs of a particular school.
“However, all school principals are entitled to promote a positive climate, create an effective learning environment, effectively deploy staff and resources, interact with stakeholders, and carry out effective and efficient administrative functions,” Mangundu said.
His other responsibilities
involve making regular inspections of the school to ensure that the school premises and equipment are being used properly, that good discipline is being maintained, and making sure that ministerial and other circulars received that
affect members of staff are brought to their notice as soon as possible, and are stored in an accessible manner.
He must also ensure that a complete inventory is kept and stock-taking is conducted once a year, as well as coordinate and encourage fundraising efforts.
Mangundu said he chose to work in public service “because of the love he has for other people”. So, this ignited his strong interest in this noble profession. “I mainly wanted to contribute towards nation-building and imparting knowledge to the next generation”.
Such a pleasure…
Mangundu said it is a great pleasure to be a head teacher at the grassroots level.
“To make the school a better place, to help learners develop and excel as we are experiencing the growth, development and excellent results the learners produced is a pleasure,” he enthused.
And how has his vast experience in teaching improved performances at the Shinyungwe Combined School?
Mangundu said he was able to inculcate a culture of hard work amongst the teachers and learners.
For instance, he managed to achieve a 100% pass rate in Rumanyo First Language, and assisted a number of learners to progress to the AS level or Grade 12.
Some of the challenges that he has to contend with include a lack of parental involvement in school affairs, a lack of school furniture and classrooms, as well as overcrowding.
Despite these challenges, Mangundu’s motto is to ensure that he creates a spirit of empowerment, and to encourage each learner
to take responsibility for
“I strongly believe in empowering people to become their better self, to do what they enjoy, and to seek satisfaction in their achievements,” he continued.
Mangundu, a former chairperson of the NSSU Zone two Kavango West Circuit awards committee, is proud of this particular achievement.
He mentored and laid the athletics foundation for Olympic silver medallist and 2021 BBC African Sports personality of the year, Christine Mboma.
She is also an alumnus of the Shinyungwe Combined School, where she started her athletics career in 2017.
“I am proud to be part of the team which groomed her career,
not only in terms of education, but also sport,” added Mangundu.