• November 12th, 2019

Pupils squat on school ground



OMUTHIYA - Grade 12 learners at Omuthiyagwiipundi Secondary School in Oshikoto region, who are currently sitting for the year-end national examinations, have opted to squat in tents on school ground as temporary means to bridge the distance they travel from their homes.

There are about 136 learners living on the school ground for the duration of the examinations.
They have been camping at the school since September. 

The majority of learners reside at nearby villages, while some live in rented shacks at informal settlements far from town and without electricity, water and proper sanitation.
Omuthiyagwiipundi is known for being the worst performing school, also with a high number of teenage pregnancies in Oshikoto. 

Learners are exposed to social influences such as alcohol and sexual relations as they are unsupervised.
The learners are at least fed at the school and are provided with a shower and ablution facility. 
Parents contributed about N$600 for each learner’s camping towards food.

“Being on a school ground is better, some of us come from far thus it has been difficult to concentrate on studies due to long distances and the deplorable conditions we live in,” stressed a learner who spoke to New Era on condition of anonymity.

Another male learner, who is aiming for 29 points, citing that the exams were difficult, applauded the school’s efforts to allow them to camp, adding that they now have ample time to study with less distraction such as going to bars and engaging in sexual relationships.

The school principal, Thomas Uupindi, said camping at the school is not something new during examination.  

He, however, added the management this year up-scaled their efforts to make sure that the school performs exceptionally. 

Among such interventions, he said was re-enforced teaching, where learners are taught during afternoon and evening slots.

On the issue of hostel facilities, Uupindi said it still remains a pipedream.
This is despite Oshikoto Swapo Party Youth League secretary Josef Katukula promising that materials have been sourced to house learners in a hostel.

 “The project is in full swing and there is progress. Funds and materials are now available. The delay is now due to bureaucracy within the ministry of education, which is still designing a plan as per their standards. Once we hear from them, I think we will be able to start,” stated Katukula.

These efforts came after New Era reported earlier this year about the dire state of the learners at Omuthiyagwiipundi. 

Since then, Good Samaritans have been coming on board such as Nored, which donated an amount of N$15 000 towards the project.

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Obrien Simasiku
2019-10-25 07:50:06 | 18 days ago

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