Nuusita Ashipala Endola-Getting a good night’s sleep is almost impossible for scores of children at the Shituwa Secondary School whose parents cannot afford mattresses, compelling the learners to sleep on bed bases. Due to a limited number of mattresses and beds some learners sleep on the floor, while others use their blankets or improvise with the bed base, which is the part of the bed that supports the mattress. In addition, the learners are also compelled to share beds. The school needs about 90 beds and mattresses to ensure that every child has a decent place to sleep. Apart from a place to sleep the rooms are also overcrowded and almost up to five learners share a single cupboard. At the inception of the hostel, the school was provided with used mattresses and beds from other schools in the region, which were already worn out. The revelations were made when the governor of Ohangwena Region, Usko Nghaamwa, visited the school on Wednesday. Nghaamwa is visiting all secondary schools in the region to see how best they can be assisted and to help the region plan effectively in terms of allocating resources. School principal Hendrik Nghinyengwasha was informed that most of the beds needed to be repaired, hence he pleaded with the contractor to weld them. Nghinyengwasha said the contractor repaired 40 beds altogether. While the learners struggle for a decent place to sleep, 219 boys at the school are accommodated in eight shack blocks as the construction of the new hostel is still underway. Construction of the N$90 million hostel has been on the cards since 2007, and actual work only started in 2016, however construction was halted for seven months last year due to a lack of financial resources. The hostel was expected to be handed over at the end of last year. But the governor noted there is significant progress on site and if all goes well the hostel can be handed over by the end of this year. Upon completion, the hostel will house six blocks and have a kitchen. Currently food is prepared in a cramped room while most learners munch on their food while standing because the temporary dining hall, which the school has created, is not well equipped. Similarly, the school is also in a dire need of ablution facilities while awaiting completion of the hostel. Currently, the learners bath from a shack and make use of a toilet sponsored by the contractor – which is designed like a water canal. Other schools which face similar or worse predicaments, compared to those of Shituwa, Nghaamwa said, are Omukumu near Eenhana and Omungwelume. According to the governor, the school is in dire need of a hostel as the learners are accommodated in shacks that are rented. “They don’t sleep well because it is noisy, and some do not have access to toilets. The situation is really bad, therefore I need help from the business community in the region,” said Nghaamwa.
2018-02-02 10:33:43 7 months ago