• July 10th, 2020

School readiness questions asked

Stefanus Nambara 
Elizabeth Hiyolwa

NKURENKURU - Although school principals in the Kavango West region have indicated that they are coping with the current safety measures put in place during the reopening of face-to-face classes, some remain doubtful that the situation will remain the same once all learners return for lessons. 

This they said is due to overcrowded classrooms that already exist at schools and hostels, which according to them will force them to revert to normal once all learners return to school. 
They said limited number of classrooms will place work overload on the few number of teachers in schools who have to monitor and ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times. 

This is only practical with the grade 11 and 12 who resumed with contact classes last week as the number of learners is manageable. 
The principal of Kandjimi Murangi Senior Secondary School, Elizabeth Simuketa, said they have successfully started with the first phase, however, she thinks they will be faced with more challenges during the third and fourth phases due to limited number of classrooms. 
“The challenge will come when we receive the grade 8, 9 and 10 learners, a situation that will compel us to revert to normal overcrowded classrooms arrangements,” Simuketa said. The school only has 17 classrooms, yet 813 learners enrolled this academic year. Simuketa is also worried that the school’s hostel exceeded its capacity. 

“Our hostel capacity is 450 but we used to register about 700 learners because the majority of the learners are not within the five kilometres radius as some of them come from as far as Mururani, so where will you take these learners?” she wanted to know. 
Another principal who raised the same concerns is Aina Hausiku from Kahenge Combined School. 
“The returning of grade 0 to 3 is already going to be a challenge in terms of human resources, because they are more than 40 in a class and in order to maintain social distancing, we might end up having more than 10 classes only for them and we only have four teachers,” Hausiku said. 
The school will also have a challenge at the hostel which this year has accommodated 205 learners, which exceeded the capacity with 55 more. 
“When learners report back, even if we have to use the double decker beds, it will still be a challenge because they will still be congested in the rooms,” she expressed. 

Meanwhile, Frans Ngoma the principal of Nkurenkuru Combined School said his school foresees a similar challenge due to overcrowding of learners, understaffed and lack of enough classrooms, which this year has forced them to offer classes under trees. Ngoma said the school is now looking at introducing a platoon system where a grade is divided into two groups, A and B for rotational purposes. A teacher will then attend to one group as the other group wait at home and only be taught the next day in order to maintain social distancing in classrooms. He was, however, optimistic that with the rotational system the school is planning to resort to, they will still be able to cover the syllabuses in the next six months left before schools close for the academic year as the syllabuses have been revised. 

“Like with the grade 11, they started with the same syllabuses in grade 10. Most of the teachers have already completed the syllabuses before schools closed for lockdown, so they are just doing revisions, and only a few still need to finish now,” he added.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-10 09:50:55 | 29 days ago

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