ORANJEMUND- “A good school is one that offers an opportunity to learners, here it is where human gems are made”, remarks of Dieter Meyer, the Principal of Oranjemund Private School (OPS), which is wholly owned by NAMDEB Limited.
Meyer, who seems to be very passionate about his school, says besides having difficulties in attracting high quality teachers due to its remoteness, the school still managed to come top in last year’s Grade 10 examinations in the Karas Region.
Oranjemund Private School has 793 learners from pre-primary to secondary school, with a teaching staff of 49 teachers.
“We take children from all communities, whether their parents are employee of NAMDEB or are employed somewhere else”.
The school offers a conducive learning environment supported by discipline and academic excellence through a merit system. Learners have to work for merits, the merit system works in a way that learners get cards as it is in sports.
A green card is for good behaviour or academic excellence, while a red card is for misconduct and non-performance.
Once a learner has acquired enough green cards, she/he gets a merit. Merits are rewarded with cell phone recharge vouchers, or cell phones.
“Merits are not just for academic excellence but if a struggling learner reaches a landmark for the first time, he/she also gets rewarded,” says Meyer.
OPS has a fully functional library with over 15 000 books. Internet is also accessible in the library for learners.
The school currently goes up to Grade 11, with Grade 12 to be introduced next year, a move seen as reducing the travel burden as learners have to travel to either Windhoek or Cape Town for secondary education.
The school is equipped with an exercise equipment for physically challenged lower primary learners and academically challenged learners are offered remedial education, primarily in the primary school phase.
It is a compulsory activity to swim at OPS as the school has a heated indoor swimming pool.
This is because “swimming is an important recreation, just like mathematic”.
Learners from Grade 1 to 3 gets special swimming classes during the day, and learners from Grade 4 are expected to be able to swim.