OMUNTELE - Oshikoto Region has 436 makeshift classrooms constructed with zinc and wooden poles, clearly indicating the need for an accelerated infrastructural development and to make matters worse the region also faces drastic shortage of hostel facilities.
It is with this state of affairs that, Reverend Juuso Shikongo Secondary, one of the best performing schools at national level is appealing for funding to expand its infrastructure and reduce pressure on its structures that can no longer sustain the rising number of learners.
The school is known for producing 100 percent pass rates in Junior Secondary Certificates, as well as Senior Secondary Certificates.
The school was established in 2012, at a cost of N$120 million.
It is still not fully completed as per the designed structural plan, neither has the school received additional funding to expand since then; stalling the process on phase two.
This was the plight of the school management to the Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze, during last week’s inspection of government projects.
“We have been submitting the budget for our capital projects but nothing has materialised in the last five years, thus we are unable to effect any developments, such as here at Juuso whereby its structural expansions is still at 30 percent,” said a representative from the education directorate in Oshikoto, Justine Amupolo. Amupolo added three pupils are day scholars, as they could not be accommodated in the already overcrowded hostels. There are three hostel blocks, which include one for boys and two for girls, while initially, it is supposed to be six blocks.
“On the current phase, we have reached an all high carrying capacity of 444 learners. This has been negatively affecting learning and teaching because classes are overcrowded. According to the structural plan, the school is supposed to accommodate 1440, thus we cannot take in more learners although the demand is high. We therefore appeal for funding to build more classrooms and a bigger hostels so that we can ease pressure on the structures or else they will start dilapidating rapidly,” stressed Amupolo.
She added that basic education budgeting such as for renovation, stationaries and repairs is done on a regional level, while capital budget projects is administered centrally.
Lack of teachers’ houses was also pointed as one of the challenges to this rural but excellent school, situated in Omuntele Constituency, some 50 kilometres northwest of Omuthiya.
Meanwhile, Kandjoze who was overly impressed with the performance, cleanliness and maintenance of the structures, sympathised with the school saying he will take their plights to the relevant authority.
“No minister can allow such a brilliant school to be left and led into dilapidation. So, for now accept the situation while its being addressed, you are suffering from minor diseases as compared to some schools that are in a worse state,” said Kandjoze.
The school was constructed at a cost of N$120 million.