A Challenge for Private Sector

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By Engel Nawatiseb GROOTFONTEIN The Circuit Inspector for the Grootfontein Education district, /Awabahe Johannes //Hoeseb has requested the private sector to assist his ministry with the provision and supply of equipment and tools to accelerate the realization of knowledge-based economic development through information technology. The inspector stressed that although his ministry is providing human and material resources to some schools countrywide, the effective and efficient implementation of educational programmes continues to suffer from insufficient resources. //Hoeseb made the remarks at a handing-over ceremony of a photocopy machine to the Omulunga primary school by a leading technical service and software support company, Konica Minolta recently. He stated that despite the national demand for improved educational standards, the achievement of success depends on collective efforts, describing stakeholders’ support as crucial to the realization of the ministry’s objectives. “It is not always possible for government to equip all the schools with labour saving devices such as photocopiers and to maintain them. Some schools are fortunate in the sense that the parents and/or guardians of their learners are in a position to make financial contributions to the School Development fund. However, Omulunga PS is one such school that is attended by learners whose parents are either unemployed or under-employed, thus economically margi-nalized.” The school mainly accommodates learners whose parents are squatters on the outskirts of the town and can hardly afford school fees to contribute to the school’s development fund. “It is for this reason that I would like to express our profound gratitude to the management of Minolta Namibia (Property) Limited in Groot-fontein for the way in which they as stakeholders in education are honouring their corporate responsibility through this donation to Omulunga PS. Your donation is in fact a shot in the arm for the school and will enhance the effectiveness and efficient implementation of quality programmes at this school.” //Hoeseb appealed to the business community to assist other needy schools with equipment that would enable learners to gain skills and competencies in the optimal utilization of information and communication technology. He urged the school management to use the photocopier strictly for educational purposes to guarantee its long-term sustainability. The school principal, Christine Xamises noted that her school was established in 2001 to accommodate orphans, street kids and other vulnerable children from the “Blikkiesdorp” settlement, noting that the school needs maximum support. “Due to the poor background of our learners, we see an urgent need for the kids to acquire knowledge and skills in a rich environment.” Commending the company, Xamises said Minolta was the first institution to respond positively to the request for assistance with a photocopier. The Regional Manager of Minolta in the North, Ronnie Wells stated that his company values service as an important aspect of maintaining a sound relationship between stakeholders. He noted that the return of profits through investment in social activities is a corporate responsibility to which Minolta has vowed to commit itself. “We are happy to be associated with your school and will constantly prove to our competitors that we are always first to assist whenever called upon to do so. Just like we were first to respond to your request, Minolta has had many world firsts. We were first on the moon with our camera lenses, which were also then used to develop our photocopiers and I would like to take you over the moon with our excellent service, expertise and friendliness. Konica Minolta took three years to develop our Customer Service Technology. Customer Service stands for customer satisfaction and that is how we do business to satisfy our clients,” said Wells. The company also recently donated a photocopier to the Iilyateko Combined School in the Onesi Circuit in the Omu-sati region.The school principal, Juda Hangero stressed that the photocopier would assist teachers to plan their lessons and assessment tasks and subsequently cover all aspects of the syllabus in time. Hangero said his school has secured a building that would guarantee the safety and security of the copier – three storage rooms that are fitted with burglar bars and strong doors. The school accommodates more than 400 learners and 15 teaching staff surrounded by close to 300 villagers.