ONDANGWA - The Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka got the shock of her life at the ineptitude caused by teacher truancy at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School where teachers had skipped giving classes.
By the third period learners at the school in Ondangwa had not had a single lesson when the deputy minister visited the top-performing school where she had to wake up sleeping learners.
Though the school principal was aware of the visit of the deputy minister, she (Nghipondoka) came across three classrooms where there were no teachers who seemed absent without leave.
“When these children fail then it is the government’s fault – these learners are not failing because the resources are not there, but it is because they are not being taught,” said a deeply disappointed Nghipondoka who found about 60 percent of the learners fast asleep.
Nghipondoka is busy visiting schools in the regions to assess how schools are coping with the Grade 10 curriculum reform, especially the issues of Grade 10’s who are commuting from outside the school.
The deputy minister said the issue of 16-year-olds commuting from rented premises, including shacks, is a concern for the ministry and it is therefore her wish that such learners get priority at the hostel as they are too young to be subjected to such circumstances.
However, the deputy minister is cognisant of the fact that the hostel capacity is not equivalent to the school capacity.
Giving an outline of the schools that she visited, Nghipondoka said she was impressed by the parents’ initiatives to provide accommodation for the learners.
According to the deputy minister, parents in some schools in the Oshikoto Region have constructed hostels for learners.
Nghipondoka also tasked the Toivo ya Toivo school management to cater for more learners, particularly the Grade 10’s, in the hostel.
During the visit, there were still empty beds in the hostel, this while learners are commuting from outside.
In addition to the empty beds there were also spaces in the rooms to accommodate more beds.
The principal at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo school, Walde Shapaka, informed the deputy minister that the school sewerage system cannot accommodate more learners.
According to Shapaka, officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport frequently work on the sewerage system.
The deputy minister said the two ministries would have to come together to find an amicable solution.
Meanwhile, Nghipondoka was impressed with the initiative to repair broken furniture at the school.
She suggested that where repaired furniture are no longer needed at the school, plans can be made for it to be transferred to other schools where there is a shortage. Some of the furniture being repaired at the school include chairs, tables, desks and beds.
Equally, the minister was also impressed by the school’s cleanliness and discipline, despite the incident of the sleeping learners and teachers who went AWOL.
Although there were no teachers in some classrooms, there were no learners roaming around the school.
2019-01-24 09:15:54 24 days ago