Rural School Suffers But Excels

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By Hendrina Louw MARIENTAL The Empelheim Junior Secondary School at Mariental was established because of an overload of learners from two primary schools in the town. The school was officially inaugurated by Dr. P.B. Koopman in 1989 with George Hill as the first principal, after which time Ricky Poulton took over. It was thereafter that I became the principal of the school. In 1993 the school suffered a lot of damage when seven classrooms and two laboratories were burnt down, costing an estimated N$800ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000. Only four classrooms have thus far been rebuilt. Because of limited space, the school can only accommodate 470 learners. Earlier this year, the school’s safe was burgled and N$46ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 00 stolen in the process. No one has so far been arrested. Thanks to First National Bank in Mariental, a much-needed donation of N$30ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 was made to the school to overcome the loss due to the burglary. Empelheim Junior Secondary School academically counts among the best in the country as far as results are concerned. In sports, a number of learners have received national colours. One of the school’s learners, Johannes Jantze, is presently in Germany involved in professional soccer. Since the beginning of the year, the school has opened its own computer laboratory with 30 computers, of which seven were donated by Namdeb.