Lack of classrooms a problem in Erongo
WALVIS BAY – Learners in the Erongo Region could face a situation of being taught in tents if the private sector does not react to calls by the Minister of Education to assist for building classrooms.
Education Minister, Dr Abraham Iyambo, made this statement during the inauguration of two new classrooms donated by the prominent Savva family at the Duinesig Combined School.
“Education cannot function in isolation as it is an incubator of skills and knowledge. There is ample room for the business sector to assist,” said Iyambo.
The minister said the Erongo Region is like a magnet which attracts problems when people come to settle in the region. He said the increasing numbers often result in a lack of classroom and hostel space at schools.
The Savva family heeded the call made by Iyambo in February last year to assist government to build more classrooms. On her part, Duinesig Combined School principal Hileni Lucas explained that the school has expanded a great deal since 18 January 1983 when it opened its doors. About 436 learners were enrolled then under the supervision of 14 teachers and only 20 classrooms from Standard Two to Four.
Currently, there are 1 270 learners, 46 teachers and an additional 19 classrooms for learners in Grades Five to 12.
Lucas said there are about 307 Grade Seven learners who need to go to Grade Eight, but only 200 of those learners can be accommodated in the 39 classrooms.
Furthermore, the minister indicated that the pre-primary education section needs to be strengthened. Eight additional classes are needed to accommodate the younger children in the region, Iyambo said.
“All that is needed is for the education sector to be organised and to present our needs to them (private sector) in an organised manner,” the minister added.
The Erongo Region has many potential business partners such as the fishing industry, the Namibian Port Authority (Namport), construction companies and mines.
Meanwhile, Lucas mentioned that her school faces an increase in teenage pregnancies, with 14 female learners reported to be pregnant this year – one in the primary phase and 13 in the secondary phase.
Iyambo stressed that female learners who are not pregnant, should resist the temptation.
“It is the responsibility of parents to see that their children are cautious, but more the responsibility of the children to listen,” he noted. – Nampa