OMUTHIYA - The directorate of education in Oshikoto region says it is now prioritising the provision of accommodation at local schools in order to address the hostels shortage challenge.
Of a total of 221, only about 10 schools have proper hostel facilities, while many have resorted to developing temporary structures through the assistance of community members.
“Lack of hostels is a big problem in the region, and we are now working towards solving this predicament. Therefore, we are trying to construct blocks at various schools as we are laying the foundation for the future,” said education director Aletta Eises.
She was responding to concerns that some schools were not happy with the capacity and type of structures being constructed. A similar concern was also raised at Kandume Secondary School where two blocks, which can accommodate only 32 learners, are under construction.
“The hostels are being constructed based on the size and grading of the school, also considering this is being done on a tight budget.
However, such structures will be expanded as time goes on,” reiterated Eises.
The school has 1 037 learners who trek long distances of more than 5km to attend lessons.
Although the hostel construction is a welcome development, it has little effect in resolving the crisis as only 32 learners can be accommodated in the soon-to-be completed facility.
The school is situated about 20 kilometres south east of Omuthiya.
“We are thankful as this is better than nothing at all considering this is one of the big schools in the cluster now with the introduction of the revised educational curriculum which necessitated the establishment of an additional grade 11.
We are, however, hoping and waiting for the directorate to provide a kitchen where learners will be fed. Right now, we are still in the dark as to what rationale is going to be used,” said the school’s head of department Bonifastus Iyambo.
Another senior teacher and acting principal Aron Shaanika also called on the education authorities to construct a dining hall.
He added the school was also in dire need of classrooms and a science laboratory.
“It is very difficult when teaching science subjects as we do not have a lab where practicals can be conducted.
The class is not a conducive setup,” he said.