OMUTHIYA – Pained by the fate of learners at Iipindi Secondary School who for years have lived in squalid shacks that they rent in Oshikoto, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has embarked on a mission to construct a school hostel for the affected learners.
So far SPYL has managed to secure 2 000 bags of cement for the construction of the planned hostel.
SPYL regional secretary Joseph Katukula said that as youth they are concerned about the unconducive living conditions of the learners, which have consequently resulted in poor performance. This development comes after New Era in January reported that about 70 percent of learners enrolled at OmuthiyaGwiipundi Senior Secondary School reside in rented corrugated-zinc shacks at the town’s informal settlement of Kaniita and at the nearby village of Oshimangwa Shongete.
The learners, the majority of them from far-flung villages, pay rent ranging from N$150 to N$400 a month which in some instances excludes water. Within a year they can pay as much as N$4 800 to the landlords owning these ghettos
This situation led to learners resorting to alcohol and drug abuse as well as unprotected sexual activities and last year alone 16 girls were impregnated in a single semester.
“We learned of this shocking situation of learners, so we made efforts to help them and as such SPYL managed to secure 2 000 pockets of cement from Cheetah Cement. This will be used to construct two blocks of hostels, an ablution facility and a kitchen, just to ease the situation,” said Katukula, adding that the school has an enrolment of 607 learners.
“The majority of learners affected are in Grade 11 and 12 and some even come from as far as Okongo in Ohangwena Region,” said Katukula.
“I have met various stakeholders on how we can address this issue and we are still further putting our heads together. In the same vein I noted that the government through the ministry of works has vast land adjacent to the school, hence we are engaging the education ministry to acquire a portion where we can build the hostel,” stressed Katukula, who is a former teacher by profession. Another option, he indicated, was to build within the schoolyard, adding that what is important is to have four walls, while the rest of the minor materials will be resourced along the way. But last year the school principal Thomas Uupindi said there is not enough space in the schoolyard to accommodate learners aanf it has proven difficult before.
Meanwhile, Education Deputy Director in Oshikoto Vilho Shipuata said they will need to look into the issue and consult on how best to work it out.
Furthermore, he said, SPYL will fix broken tables and chairs at the school. “We have already requested quotations from carpenters, and there is progress in that regard.”
2019-04-03 09:28:37 4 months ago