Rundown School Gets Euro Injection

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By Petronella Sibeene REHOBOTH Lack of sufficient books and schooling materials still remains one of the many challenges Vooruitsig Junior Secondary School in Rehoboth is facing. But yesterday the European Commission (EC) donated different school materials, including accounting books worth N$8 500 to the school from the remaining funds from the budget for its project Visibility 2005. “We donated 400 journals, 400 ledgers, 400 cashbooks, 1 000 exercise books, 1 000 pens, 500 exam pads, 1 000 pencils, 500 rulers, 500 erasers and 500 sharpeners,” confirmed EC Information Officer Katia Reviglio. Some schools in the country are faced with shortages of books and other school materials and in an effort to fulfil what was agreed in the signed agreement with the Namibian Government to support education-related activities, the EC decided to assist with some extra action towards some schools. Vooruitsig Junior Secondary School was built in 1979 has 850 learners in grades 8 to 10. According to the principal of the school Christina Petrus, a lack of textbooks and other important equipment remains a nightmare at the school. “We do not have books. Each learner needs at least 10 exercise books but most of them currently have only two or three.” Due to the limited number of textbooks that the school library has, the school cannot afford to allow learners to go home with the learning materials and this according to the principal does not give learners a chance to revise once they leave the school premises. Despite being a junior secondary school, teachers at Vooruitsig are only able to teach science subjects theoretically due to lack of equipment in the laboratory for practical work. This year, the Government gave the school N$32 000. Given all the problems needing attention, the money will be used for the renovation of two classroom blocks. “The money is not enough for a school that has 30 classrooms,” she however added. Compared to other schools in the same area such as Beakus Primary School, Vooruitsig, having been built in the olden days, is dilapidated and needs renovating. Petrus also expressed concern about a lack of commitment by parents in the area. She says most parents delay registering their children for Grade 1. “Most kids are brought when they are already eight and nine years of age which is not good. We advise parents to take their children to kindergarten and when it’s the right time, bring them for admission to grade one.” Though the school fees range between N$100 for Grade 7n and N$200 for Grade 10 learners, parents and guardians have not been paying their children’s school fees as expected and that has contributed to the already existing problems at the school, Petrus stated. Despite the challenges, Petrus assured her and her staff’s continued efforts to offer the best service to learners. The school last year had a 45 percent pass rate for Grade 10 pupils.