Schools fail to repair broken furniture

Home Education Schools fail to repair broken furniture

WINDHOEK – The Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi has expressed great concern about the untold number of broken chairs, desks and tables lying around the premises of almost every school in the country, without being repaired, while thousands of learners continue to have classes while sitting on the floor.

Namwandi raised his concern about the unfixed school furniture when addressing education regional directors at a meeting yesterday in Windhoek. “The frames are still useful and all they require is a creative mind to find a company and resources to buy tops and repair all the broken furniture,” he urged.

“If we are all committed in doing this, then we would have more chairs, tables and desks than we need. I don’t want to see graveyards of frames. It is disheartening to see so many learners sitting on the floor or beer crates, while there are frames, which could even create employment for our people. Take this as a directive,” he said. He thus instructed all education regional managers to ensure every desk, chair and missing table top is repaired as a matter of great urgency.

He advised directors to put aside a few “dollars or a million” from their furniture budget to be re-directed towards repairing broken school furniture.

He was equally worried about the lack of protection of school infrastructure.

“I have seen schools located in areas filled with dangerous wild animals and yet we cannot even think of ways to fence such schools.

“Elephants and lions are greeting teachers and learners, it is so dangerous. I  asked myself, why can’t a director put up a fence. Just put yourself in those people’s shoes,” he said.

But he said schools now have universal primary education funds from which some amounts can be redirected to simple things like erecting a fence or fixing broken chairs, desks and tables as well as for simple maintenance of school buildings, including fixing broken windows. “All that is needed is to purchase materials and the recruitment of local people to do the fencing or simple repairs at a reasonable fee,” he advised.

He thus directed regional directors to ensure that the funds are used properly than the “current practice of keeping or investing these funds in insurance companies or banks with no direct benefits to the learners”.

He also prodded the directors on leadership in their regions, saying there is no accountability and that the situation in the majority of schools can best be described as a major concern not conducive to teaching and learning.

“I now direct you as regional managers of education to ensure that every principal and teacher is fully held accountable for the results, and where need be, non-performing principals be demoted or dismissed. This can only happen if we are able to keep records of our staff, including warnings and attempts to assist them to improve. Inspectors are therefore critical in making sure that when visiting schools they include these activities in order to have adequate information to make decisions,” he directed.


By Albertina Nakale