The Katutura school, which produced the likes of Founding President Sam Nujoma and struggle veteran Mburumba Kerina, among others, is preparing to celebrate its 100-year milestone in 2023. However, despite its rich history, St Barnabas Primary School is beset by a number of challenges, including dilapidated structures.
Founded in 1923, the school has a rich history linked to political freedom. Apart from producing the likes of Nujoma and Kerina, prominent figures such as current Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi, businessman and former Rössing board chair Charles Kauraisa, former Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) vice chancellor Tjama Tjivikua, and local Swapo politician Meriam Onesmus-Amadhila also attended the school.
The principal, Nahason Mbangura, told New Era the school is currently in need of infrastructural development, as the old structures are dilapidated. There are currently three blocks that the principal says are not sufficient to accommodate all learners, as they are rundown. He estimates the total cost of repairs, which includes completing the remaining phases of the school hall and renovating classrooms, to be in the region of N$2 million.
He said they need a school hall, as they have nowhere to gather for assembly or when hosting school events. Mbangura noted learners have to sit in the sun when they have events. “We have classrooms that have cracks. They are very dilapidated. We also need a computer lab. All these things need resources, which we don’t have,” he explained.
Moreover, the school is in need of a sport field and a school bus. Despite the school’s effort to organise a gala dinner last year October, they hardly received any funds. The school’s management said most people pledged to assist but have not yet honoured their financial obligations. The principal is asking for any Good Samaritans, especially former learners, to come on board and assist the school.
He said the school’s performance has improved over the years. The school, with the assistance of FNB Namibia, offers afternoon classes. He added the school has made provision for a small kitchen, which was constructed with the assistance of the German volunteer students. The school, which runs from pre-primary to grade 7, has 965 pupils, 31 teachers and three cleaners.
Meanwhile, former learner Katjavivi said he is pleased St Barnabas is marking 100 years in three years’ time. “This is indeed an important milestone in the history of education in our country,” he said.
“As you might have gathered, St Barnabas school was originally introduced as an Anglican Church mission school. Its first Principal Mr Muyaki came originally from South Africa. Other prominent Namibian teachers at the school were Gabriel Mbuende, who later succeeded Muyaki as the principal, and Clemence Kapuuo. It was a liberal school that combined both normal school teaching as well as extra-mural teaching.” He said the role of St Barnabas of those years is something many schools of today could emulate in the communities. Therefore, he appealed to the public at large to make a positive generous contribution to the welfare of the school.
2020-02-18 07:13:52 | 1 months ago