OMUTHIYA - The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has come out guns blazing to justify videos and images circulating on social media depicting dilapidated traditional hut classrooms at Omatope Combined School in which learners are seemingly attending lessons.
Deputy regional education director for Oshikoto Vilho Shipuata said the images are not a true reflection of what is happening on the ground and create an impression that the government is not doing anything to improve the situation.
A permanent structure of four classrooms was constructed at the school not too long ago, he says.
The images show shambolic thatched-roof and makeshift classrooms at the school. About 200 learners are at the school, which is Nehale Lya Mpingana Constituency.
“The person who captured the video created a false impression, he only captured the negative side whilst leaving out other improvements done at the school. I should also state that the school is on the planned development list like any other school, thus the structure will be upgraded in due time. This is due to budget and financial resources constraints,” stressed Shipuata.
“We have about 395 makeshift classes and 25 thatched or clay classrooms from different schools in the region. All is noted and planned for upgrade. However, things are being done step by step. Gradual improvement is there, unlike the assertions being made,” he added.
Further venting his dismay, Shipuata said: “Government is trying its best. Together with an investor we were able to construct a classroom block and a teacher’s house at the school. The investor donated N$200 000 while government forked in N$800 000 for such development, so for one to say nothing is being done is false and malicious.”
Water provision was also made available to the school, he said.
The Namibian newspaper on Monday reported that grade 5 to 9 pupils at the school are taught in three traditional hut classrooms and a zinc shack that were built with contributions from parents and community members. However, some of the structures are now in an appalling condition after livestock that roam the area destroyed them.
The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) regional secretary for Oshikoto, Josef Katukula, in a brief statement denounced the portrayal of the school, saying it was subjective.