By Kuvee Kangueehi AminUis Water shortage, lack of funds, no renovations and lack of classrooms are some of the complaints raised by the residents of Leonardville and Aminuis to members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social and Community Development who visited the two villages yesterday. At a meeting between the parliamentary committee and teachers and school board members, a teacher from the Motsomi Primary School in Aminuis revealed that their school faced a shortage of water since the end of January. The teacher told the committee that more than 500 pupils have been affected by the problem and that school children are expected to carry water in containers in order to bath or prepare food. She said the matter was reported to the regional council office as well as the governor of the region but to no avail. “The only response we received is that there is no money to repair the borehole.” The teacher noted that the borehole problem has been persistent over the years and an amount of N$70 000 is now required to fix it. However, the leader of the committee Elia Kaiyamo said he was shocked by the situation because the annual budget indicated that N$50 000 was earmarked for the repair of the borehole. He urged the teacher to follow up the matter and find out what exactly was happening. Another problem that was raised was the poor state of the classrooms and buildings at the Hosea Kutako Primary School. The principal Lazarus Kaapama noted that since the school was built in 1974, no single renovation was done to the buildings, and cracks and broken windows were evidence of the neglect. He reported that the school has forwarded a request to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication through the Ministry of Education but no assistance in that regard has been forthcoming. On a positive note, Kaapama said there was no shortage of classrooms and that in fact some classrooms were not being used. He explained that initially, the school was built to accommodate 900 pupils but since more schools were opened in the region, the school’s intake dropped to 500 students. High failure rate was one of the problems raised during the discussions especially for Rietquelle Junior Secondary School where the pass rate for grade 10 was just above 50 percent. When asked to explain the high failure rate at the school, the principal Jan Katjiuongua attributed the problem to automatic promotion. Katjiuongua said the ministry needs to seriously review the system as pupils that are not even ready are forced to be promoted to the next grade because they cannot spend more than two years in one grade. He said this ultimately leads to a high failure rate in grade 10. He further noted that rural schools usually do not get the best students as most good students prefer urban schools. “Most of the urban schools require a high percentage to accept pupils and usually weak pupils end up in rural schools.” Swapo Party parliamentarian and member of the committee Peya Mushelenga noted that he had realised that the problems at Aminuis were similar to those of other regions. The youthful parliamentarian said the committee was disturbed by a particular situation at Leonardville where pupils from two grades are being taught in one classroom. He promised that the committee will definitely take up the matter with the ministry. Late yesterday afternoon the committee visited health facilities in the Aminuis Constituency and are expected to visit Otjombinde today.
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