A School Setting the Pace By Suzette Apollus WINDHOEK The Windhoek Technical High School has become one of the most reputable schools in the country, affording students the unique opportunity to excel in various technical fields. The school’s mission seeks to provide the best possible education for the Windhoek community as well as the rest of Namibia. The learning centre perceives its mission as being primarily the preparation of its scholars for tertiary education, whether in formal institutions such as universities, colleges or technikons, and ultimately – the workplace. The school started with humble beginnings as an extension of Jan MÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶hr’s technical block. On March 8 1974 Windhoek Technical High School (WTHS) was officially inaugurated. The school started out as an all boys’ school. However, with the introduction of agriculture into the curriculum in 1987, the first female pupils enrolled at the school. The school has a staff of 32 teachers and 630 pupils. This well-oiled educational machine has a female principal Retha Landsberg. In 1970, she started off by pursuing her studies at Potchefstroom University in South Africa where she obtained her B. Sc. Ed. Degree, majoring in domestic science, interior design, dress design and food technology. Thereafter in 1975, she started her teaching career at Augustineum. From 1979 until 1980, she went on to teach at Academia. In 1981, Retha began as a lecturer at the teachers training college up until 1986. This is clearly a woman of many talents as she not only is a veteran in the field of education but also became an entrepreneur by running her own computer-based Math Centre up until 1991. In 1994, Retha Landsberg was appointed at the school she is now successfully running as principal since 2003. “Our school is pioneering the way to inclusive education,” she told New Era proudly. This year WTHS became the first school in Namibia to make provision for blind and visually impaired students. The principal admits that adjusting to these pupils requires enormous commitment. “However, I still feel honoured to be part of the collective decision that was taken by the Ministry of Education, the school board of WTHS, the Namibia Institute of Special Education and the School for the Visually Impaired to accommodate and provide further education for visually impaired students. Nine teachers volunteered to be trained in Braille and it is worth all the effort because the students are truly assets to the school,” says the principal. The annual golf day charity event is an important one to raise funds to assist individuals with extreme physical disabilities and handicaps. This year’s charity event will be held on August 19 in honour of one of the school’s students, Tinus van Wyk, who became a paraplegic after a tragic rugby injury. Others at the school who have benefited from this charity event in the past were Enrico Smit , Matthew Paulsen and Alfred Visser, who are pursuing their education at the school. Extra-mural activities are high on the agenda at the technical high school as the students are indeed very much involved in these activities such as cricket, athletics, cross country, golf, rugby, netball, soccer, tennis and hockey. On the cultural scene, students can occupy their time by joining the debating clubs, orators clubs, quiz clubs, chess clubs, Teenagers Against Alcohol and Drugs Club, Aids awareness clubs or even the choir. Launa Vlok walked away with the ATKV national orators award for 2005, which ceremony was held in South Africa. The school excels in academics and is going to be the host of the National Bridge Building Competition for the third consecutive year, wherein young scientists are afforded the opportunity to partake. An upcoming event to look forward to at the school is the WTHS sports tournament held from March 9 – 11. The school is also planning a freshman concert that will be held on February 8th and 9th..
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