No school chaos this year: Minister

No school chaos this year: Minister

GOVERNMENT schools are prepared and ready to absorb school children for the new school year, which starts tomorrow, Education Minister Nangolo Mbumba says.

Altogether 550 000 pupils will fill classrooms countrywide, with approximately 18 000 teachers to educate them. In past years, schools in the north-central regions and Windhoek in particular have been besieged by desperate parents and their children in January trying to snatch a place at schools, having left the enrolment too late.”Schools informed parents and learners last year in September already and lists were submitted to our ministry’s offices before the end of 2006 so that we knew if there would be shortages of space and overcrowding, and to overcome that before schools even start,” Mbumba said yesterday.He was speaking at the handover of N$30 million by the Swedish Embassy for the Government’s Educational and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP).”But there are always latecomers who leave it to the last moment; the acid test will be Wednesday morning when schools start,” Mbumba added.The Minister said he had briefed President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the end of November about the Ministry’s preparations to avoid classroom shortages.”New schools were opened in the North and at other schools more classrooms were added,” Mbumba said.A year ago, President Pohamba personally intervened after media reports about several thousand schoolchildren desperate to find a place in schools.As a result, all pupils could be accommodated.The Namibian tried to phone several State schools in Windhoek yesterday afternoon to find out what the situation was on the ground.However, nobody answered the telephones, except at the Delta Primary School.Headmaster Peter Schlenther said a small group of parents with their children were at the school gate yesterday.”They were far fewer people than the years before and we could accommodate a few learners,” he told The Namibian.Schlenther said Government schools had had to submit their plans for 2007 and lists of placed pupils to the Ministry at the beginning of October last year.”Another rule by the Education Ministry is that siblings of the same family should be attending the same school.This year we accommodated 28 younger siblings in Grade One of our English Medium Class, which can take in a maximum of 36 children,” Schlenther said.One parent managed to get his child into a primary school in Windhoek West yesterday.”We were about 30 people looking for a place for children and our boy secured a place in Grade Two, but only on probation,” the happy father said.”In past years, schools in the north-central regions and Windhoek in particular have been besieged by desperate parents and their children in January trying to snatch a place at schools, having left the enrolment too late.”Schools informed parents and learners last year in September already and lists were submitted to our ministry’s offices before the end of 2006 so that we knew if there would be shortages of space and overcrowding, and to overcome that before schools even start,” Mbumba said yesterday.He was speaking at the handover of N$30 million by the Swedish Embassy for the Government’s Educational and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP).”But there are always latecomers who leave it to the last moment; the acid test will be Wednesday morning when schools start,” Mbumba added.The Minister said he had briefed President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the end of November about the Ministry’s preparations to avoid classroom shortages.”New schools were opened in the North and at other schools more classrooms were added,” Mbumba said.A year ago, President Pohamba personally intervened after media reports about several thousand schoolchildren desperate to find a place in schools.As a result, all pupils could be accommodated.The Namibian tried to phone several State schools in Windhoek yesterday afternoon to find out what the situation was on the ground.However, nobody answered the telephones, except at the Delta Primary School.Headmaster Peter Schlenther said a small group of parents with their children were at the school gate yesterday.”They were far fewer people than the years before and we could accommodate a few learners,” he told The Namibian.Schlenther said Government schools had had to submit their plans for 2007 and lists of placed pupils to the Ministry at the beginning of October last year.”Another rule by the Education Ministry is that siblings of the same family should be attending the same school.This year we accommodated 28 younger siblings in Grade One of our English Medium Class, which can take in a maximum of 36 children,” Schlenther said.One parent managed to get his child into a primary school in Windhoek West yesterday.”We were about 30 people looking for a place for children and our boy secured a place in Grade Two, but only on probation,” the happy father said.”

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