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The young educating the masses

2021-05-12  Paheja Siririka

The young educating the masses
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The Hatika Adult Education Centre, which aims to equip adult learners with knowledge and skills through lifelong learning, recently turned two.

Established on 4 May 2019, the centre hosts adult learners on Saturday mornings, giving basic lessons to about 60 students between the ages 18 to 60.

Founder Wilfried Mbamba (27), a teacher by profession, said he walked through the Goreangab informal settlement and listened to the plight of the people. 

“They wanted English classes but yearned to learn Afrikaans to get jobs or get better jobs. Other courses the centre offers include art, business skills, computer skills and financial literacy,” he told Youth Corner. 

They also offer Portuguese, sign language, small business management, cooking, learners’ licence and basic mathematics courses.  

Legal advisor of the centre and basic computer tutor Vincent Tjikune said there is nothing more uplifting and empowering than imparting knowledge onto someone else – and when the students use the knowledge given and start applying that in the daily lives, it is
astonishing.

“It is nice to be part of this process. Sometimes, you find yourself noticing the impact of your work during certificate handovers of completed courses; the moment you see the tears of joy in the students’ eyes, it’s always emotional,” said Tjikune.

He added that some students come to the centre lost but they leave with wisdom and end up improving on their businesses, which are mostly cuca shops.

Former student Rejoice Kapewa said she went to the centre to learn Afrikaans, basic sign language and now computer. 

“I call this place my home and all I can say is ‘wow’; this is a wonderful educational experience. Sitting at home and doing nothing is not good. The reason why I came here is to be equipped with the knowledge – and all I can say is I am improving as time goes by,” said the 39-year-old with enthusiasm and pride.

Helvi Carlos, who has also benefitted from the centre, encouraged other adults to join. 

“This will also be beneficial, as they will be able to help their children with homework. My English is not perfect but I am learning day-by-day,” expressed the overzealous former student.

Pastry chef Franscina Naris recalled how clueless she was about the industry – but through the business classes now manages her enterprise well and makes a living from it.

“Managing a business is a struggle; I couldn’t save money but I have drastically improved. I know how to save and I have expanded on my business and can bake muffins, cakes, koeksusters and I am taking up computer classes. All I can say is I am thankful,” said the nervous, yet joyful Naris as she points towards muffins and cakes she baked for the second anniversary of the centre.

City of Windhoek councillor Fillemon Hambunda was excited to see the progress the centre has made since its establishment.

“As a teacher by profession, education is key and I am impressed with the youth taking the bull by its horns – because without education, there is no future. The office of the mayor takes notice of the work done by Hatika. It’s a wonderful gesture. Today’s teachers finish their education and end up on the streets – but with Hatika, they can temporarily be employed to just put food on the table,” concluded Hambunda.

- psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-05-12  Paheja Siririka

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