Despite having missed the initial official launch date, proponents of the planned Okakarara Constituency School Prize Awards remain adamant that the envisioned event will come to fruition.
An initiative of Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu, the awards are meant to foster an overall good academic performance among learners in the constituency. The first of its kind in the Otjozondjupa Region, the awards are said to have been necessitated by the need to inculcate a spirit of appreciation towards learning at a time when the young are facing an array of distractions.
While the main awards night is on an unspecified date towards the end of January 2019, an official launch gala, planned for August 2 did not materialise, supposedly due to unforeseen delays in the planning process. Control administrative officer at the Okakarara Constituency offices, Stella Situmbeko-Samakupa, says the delay happened in the midst of the establishment of a working committee that is going to run the awards going forward. “Each school needed to send a representative who will form part of the working committee. From this group an executive committee was selected,” Situmbeko-Samakupa says. This eight-member committee, headed by a coordinator and a deputy, according to Situmbeko-Samakupa, met just before the school holidays, in order to review the working documents that are in place and to develop them further.
“The committee has since resolved to award the prizes as per the phases rather than to have a separate award for each grade. Meaning that there will be one award for Grades 1 to 3 as lower primary, 4 to 7 as upper primary and 6 to 10 as junior secondary as well as 11 and 12 as senior secondary,” Situmbeko-Samakupa reveals, adding that this decision was arrived at to optimally use whatever sponsorship they might receive.
She confirms that as per the initial plan, farmers’ unions and associations within the Okakarara Constituency have been approached for sponsorships. Through this partnership, according to the constituency office, the community will be urged to take ownership of the event – which is set to be an annual do.
The above sentiments were corroborated in a statement made by Kandorozu in a previous interview. The councillor told this newspaper that the idea is to get the farmers’ associations on board and to urge them to contribute no less than N$10,000 towards the initiative. There are eight farmers’ associations and cooperatives in the constituency. Kandorozu revealed then that the organisers have raised some N$20,000 and their target is to collect at least between N$100,000 and N$150,000 to hold a successful awards ceremony.