School Growing in Excellence

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By Tapiwa Mkabeta WINDHOEK Like any other school established during the apartheid era, Jan Jonker Afrikaner Secondary School in Katutura was built under the premise of dividing and marginalizing certain ethnic groups under the then apartheid colonial government. Established in 1981 and officially inaugurated by the executive committee of the second tier Nama administration in 1983, the school is steadily growing with a better image than ever before. The school was built in 1981 on a dumping site in Katutura with the late Charles Jansen as its first principal. The school’s motto, “A child is not a vessel to be kindled. He who wants to light that fire must glow himself,” says a lot on what this institution of secondary learning intends for its learners and teachers alike. In 1990, the current principal, Alistair Pitt, arrived at the school and was employed as an English teacher. The following year Pitt was appointed Deputy Principal of the school after Jansen left the school. Jan Jonker Afrikaner Secondary School has a staff of 32 teachers, which Pitt said is enough to cater for the 881 pupils currently enrolled. In 2004 the school ended 16thin the Khomas Region for the Grade 10 results and 12th in the same region last year. What the school has achieved thus far is more than just academic. During the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Immanuel Kharigub, then a student at the school, was one of the torchbearers. Kharigub was also at the time the Khomas Region’s high jump record holder. Willem Boois, another of the school’s sensations, then competed in an Italian national athletics meeting finishing 76th out of more than a thousand other athletes. The school choir also competed in the Northern Gauteng Youth Choir Educational Trust and won second prize. The school is also known as the first to have presented French as a subject, and in the same efforts managed to get a library for the subject. There exists an educational school exchange program between Jan Jonker Afrikaner and a French high school. Some of its students had gone to France to learn more about the language. This year the school will be hosting some students from France who will be coming as part of the exchange program. The Katutura school has a cycling club and is also planning to start a swimming club. “Plans have already been put in place for the swimming coaching staff,” said Pitt. The school never seems to stop at anything. “The Girl Child Movement” to sensitize school pupils on the plight of the girl and issues promoting gender equality, is one of the existing organizations at the school. There is a chess club, a debating society, Scripture Union, an Environmental Club as well as a drama and dance group. This Saturday the school will be hosting the Miss New Comer 2006 function to welcome the new pupils at the school. Among many other highlights the school will also host their annual Cultural Day on 24 June with a programme of dance and drama performances.