By Frederick Philander KATUTURA The establishment of the Namibia Project School – one of three such educational institutions – in the capital nine months ago came about due to the high failure rate in schools under the Ministry of Education. So said the principal of the school, Clement Kloppers, a former head of department at another school. “The school currently has 270 learners after 20 learners already dropped out, a big problem in Namibian schools. The high dropout rate can definitely be attributed to poverty because many parents of our learners are permanently unemployed,” a concerned Kloppers said. Most of the learners at the school could not be accommodated at other schools. “Some of the learners cannot even pay their school fees. And to top it all, many of them are slow learners due to the fact that the primary school foundation was not solidly laid – this is what I and my staff of nine teachers have found out. Many of their worsening socio-economic home backgrounds is also a great concern to me,” Kloppers said. According to him the selection panel at the school took a principled decision not to treat these learners differently from any normal school situation. “Though academically challenged, these learners are doing well and we daily encourage them to do their best in everything they do. For that reason we have introduced a workable appraisal system to which every learner should aspire and show commitment to,” the principal said. The school operates from midday on a daily basis. “We primarily focus on character building, dignity, language proficiency, loyalty and respect for others by the learners for them to move beyond their own socio-economic situations,” Kloppers said. The Ministry of Education is currently constructing a new building to be taken into use some time early next year.
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